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Form R

26 June 2014

The sections referred to herein are those of the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 (Act 47 of 1937), as amended, (“the DRA”).

On the one hand, section 43 (1) provides, amongst other things, for the issue of a Certificate of Registered Title (“CRT”), to an owner of a piece of land, in respect of a defined portion of such land, “as nearly as practicable in the prescribed form.” (Emphasis added).

On the other hand, section 43 (5) provides, amongst other things, for the issue of a CRT of an individual erf in a township or settlement, to an owner of such township or settlement, “in the prescribed form”. (Emphasis added).

However, it is stipulated in the heading for Form R of the DRA Regulations that Form R is issued under the provisions of section 43. This implies that Form R is the prescribed form for the CRTs contemplated in both sections 43 (1) and 43 (5).

However, a perusal of Form R clearly shows that, to all intents and purposes, Form R was designed to meet the requirements of section 43 (1) only, that is, a defined portion of a piece of land represented in a diagram, and not those of section 43 (5), that is, an individual erf in a township or settlement, shown of a General Plan, which requirements are materially different.

In the absence of an explanation for the aforementioned anomalous shortcoming, it is reasonable to assume that Form R was designed for the purposes of section 43 (1) only and that this occurred (i) before the addition of section 43 (5), by section 19 (c) of the DRA Amendment Act 43 of 1957, and (ii) without giving consideration to the need for the accommodation of the requirements of section 43 (5) hitherto.

One unfortunate perception arising from the aforesaid shortcoming is that, if individual erven are not separately described in a title deed for a township or settlement, similar to defined portions of a sub-divided piece of land, such erven are, in fact, portions of the land, such as a farm, which was laid out as a township. In support of this perception, reference is made to the description of such land, such as a farm, in the title deed for the land. The perception overlooks the fact that, after registration of a General Plan and opening of a Township Register, the township is the land described in the General Plan (hence “Township Title” and not, for example, “Farm Title”) – refer, for example, to section 46 (2).

In conclusion, I submit, therefore, that (i) Form R should be identified as a CRT issued under the provisions of section 43 (1) and (ii) an appropriate form be designed for a CRT issued under the provisions of section 43 (5).

Thabo Nqhome
18 June 2014

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