SALE OF FARM LAND: BEWARE THE PITFALLS
Le Roux v Brits (4070/2015)  ZAWCHC 133 (18 September 2015)
This judgment deals with the initial skirmishing between a seller and purchaser, the former seeking return of farm land that was transferred to the purchaser in terms of a deed of sale that incorrectly referred to the whole of the farm being sold, when the intention was only to sell that part of the land that the farmer had pointed out to the purchaser. What became problematic was the fact that the alleged intention to sell a portion only would render the agreement non-compliant with the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, as there was no ministerial consent. Should the seller have asked the court for rectification of the agreement which would have resulted in an invalid agreement?
SELLING A PORTION OF A FARM WITHOUT MINISTER’S CONSENT – RISKY
Four Arrows Investments 68 v Abigail Construction (20470/2014)  ZASCA 121
(17 September 2015)
Property practitioners should take care when assisting parties in agreements relating to agricultural land! In a technically complicated agreement, the seller and purchaser in this matter agreed to the sale of a portion of agricultural land once the Minister’s consent, as required in the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act, was obtained. The agreement also included a “deemed option” to acquire the land. The Appeal Court held that whether framed as an option or a sale subject to a suspensive condition, in the absence of the requisite Ministerial consent, the agreement was void.