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Chief Registrar's Circular 04/2018

17 May 2018

Chief Registrar’s Circular No. 4 of 2018

Lodgement of Rates Clearance Certificates in terms of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000)

  1. In terms of section 118 (1) of the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act No. 32 of 2000), a Registrar of Deeds is restrained from registering the transfer of property except on production of a prescribed certificate, issued by the municipality in which that property is situated, which certifies that all amounts that became due in respect of that property during the two years preceding the date of application for the certificate, have been fully paid.

  2. In terms of section 118 (1A) of the Act, a prescribed certificate is valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue thereof. However, it is a prevailing practice of certain municipalities to issue such certificates for a period longer or shorter than the prescribed 60 days.

  3. It is clear from the provisions of section 118 that an obligation is placed on a Registrar of Deeds to see that the expiry date on a certificate complies with the provisions of section 118(1A) of Act No. 32 of 2000. The provisions of section 4 of the Interpretation Act, 1957 (Act No. 33 of 1957) finds application in this regard. The said section reads as follows:

    "When any particular number of days is prescribed for the doing of any act, or for any other purpose, the same shall be reckoned exclusively of the first and inclusively of the last day, unless the last day happens to fall on a Sunday or on any public holiday, in which case the time shall be reckoned exclusively of the first day and exclusively also of every such Sunday or public holiday".

  4. In order to comply with the provisions of section 118(1A) of Act No. 32 of 2000, it is advisable that registrars of deeds regard certificates as valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue regardless of the disclosure of an expiry date that does not comply with the provision of Act No. 32 of 2000.

  5. Chief Registrar's Circulars 10 of 2004, 11 of 2005, 8 of 2008 and 2 of 2018 are hereby withdrawn and substituted with this Circular.

  6. This provisions of this circular apply in respect of certificates lodged on or after 02 July 2018.

Chief Registrar’s Circular No. 4 of 2018 and see the comments with regard to Chief-Registrar’s Circular No. 2 of 2018 which remain largely valid.

Reader Comments: 5
Allen West 11/05/2018:

This new circular merely postpones the date of implementation and does not address the practicalities alluded to by all and sundry.

Dudley Lee 11/05/2018:

I agree with Allen - a total wet blanket, I am sorry to say. It changes nothing really.

Dudley Lee 11/05/2018:

I went back to compare the two circulars again and there is more of a difference between them than meets the eye. A subtle difference that we missed but that makes a substantial difference. We spoke too soon! Sorry.

CRC2/2018 states in paragraph 3 that a clearance is valid for 60 days etc. and in the last sentence the following: "The remainder of the period must consequently not be considered for the purpose of registration of transfer". In other words a clearance must NOT be accepted as valid for longer than 60 days even if the local authority who issued such clearance issued it for longer than 60 days. An absolute prohibition therefor on accepting a rates clearance as being valid for longer than 60 days.

However, paragraph 4 of CRC 4/2018 says "....it is advisable the registrars of deeds regard certificates as valid for a period of 60 days from the date of issue regardless of the disclosure of an expiry date that does not comply with the provisions of Act No. 32 of 2000". The absolute prohibition is therefor done away with and each registrar is now given the discretion to accept rates clearances that are issued with validity periods exceeding 60 days. Let us hope each registrar issues his/her own circular as soon as possible to indicate the practice to be followed in his/her office. Any further arguments can then be taken up with such registrar directly, or a Court order obtained.

Ronel Straughan 16/05/2018:

Do we have a final word on how the Cape Town Registrar will administer clearances valid for more than 60 days?

allen West 31/05/2018:

Dudley, the office of the CRD does not interpret the CRC to afford a discretion to each Registrar.

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