“I have a property portfolio and am constantly buying and selling properties. I’ve recently seen media reports that a new electronic deeds registration system is coming for South Africa. For me speed of sale and registrations is vital. Will this new system improve or worsen the current registration processes?”
You are correct in that the new Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill has been signed into law by the President on 19 September 2019. This new Act will enable property transactions to be processed electronically and instructs the Chief Registrar of Deeds to develop, establish and maintain such an electronic deeds registration system using information and communications technologies for the preparation, lodgement, registration, execution and storing of deeds and documents.
The purpose of the Act is to streamline property registrations in the deed’s office. As such it aims to enable the electronic processing, preparation and lodgement of deeds and documents by conveyancers and the Registrar of Deeds. It aims to do this by moving away from the traditional method of having to manually attend thereto at the Deeds Office. The Act also provides for the development of an Electronic Deeds Registration System or e-DRS, through which South Africa will take advantage of the benefits offered by internet access, e-commerce and global computerisation in the management of security of property title. With the ever-growing need for computerisation and digitalisation, the e-DRS looks to employ internet-based systems and to eventually discontinue registration procedures which are currently regulated by the Deeds Registries Act and the Sectional Titles Act.
The new electronic deeds system will hopefully enable the registration of large volumes of deeds and it will improve the turn-around times for the delivering of registered title deeds and other security documents to clients, with access to the deed’s registration services from anywhere in the country. It should in the long run speed up the registration of transactions and provide greater mobility for the registration of transactions, ultimately benefiting the consumer.