Gert is a specialist Conveyancer based at our Illovo branch. He worked at the Pretoria Deeds Office from 1985 until 1989 and after becoming a Senior Examiner left to qualify as an Attorney and Conveyancer in 1992. As manager of our Gauteng Development Law Unit Gert focuses on the establishment of townships and all the conveyancing work required to initiate and complete developments, whether it may be an upmarket sectional title, cluster or housing development. He enjoys finding practical solutions to complicated conveyancing problems. Gert serves on the committee of the South African Affordable Residential Developers Association (SAARDA), a body representing the interests of developers and other stakeholders in the affordable housing development sector which necessitates regular collaboration with government and municipal officials.

The legal status of a township with more than 1 township applicant

There are a number of townships, with two or more township applicants, which have been legally approved by the powers that be with formal conditions of establishment and with General Plans approved by the Surveyor-General for which the Registrar of Deeds at Pretoria refuses to open the township registers.

The reason for this refusal is to be found in Registrars’ Conference Resolution 34/2009:

RCR 34/2009 One township on three properties

May three different owners, who own three different properties separately, open one township on all three properties (eg one general plan approved and depicting that the township is laid out on all the properties)?

This is not allowed. The provisions of section 22 of Act 47 of 1937 cannot be applied where the remainder of the township is to be transferred. The owners also do not have locus standi (in respect of the property not owned by them) to jointly open such a township.

Section 22 of the Deeds Registries Act, 1037 (No 47 of 1937) is not applicable with the opening of a township register.

The provisions of section 22 of Act 47 of 1937 do not find application when a township register is opened and cannot prevent the opening of a township register with more than one township applicant. The reliance on the possible impact of section 22 ignores the fact that even if the remainder of the township cannot be disposed of while there are still two or more township owners that the stands in the township can be disposed of by these township owners.

Also, the various township owners may dispose of all the stands situate on those portions of the township registered in their names until only one township owner remains. This last remaining township owner may then transfer the remaining extent of the township without contravening section 22 of the Deeds Registries Act, if this township owner does not decide to continue disposing of the stands on this remaining extent of the township.
This means that a township with more than one township owner is by no means sterilized if the remaining extent of the township cannot be transferred yet.

Read the full article HERE

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