The sale of a portion of a proclaimed township is not a common occurrence
The sale of a portion of a proclaimed township in terms of Section 47 of the Deeds Registries Act is not a common occurrence. Conveyancers, Deeds Office officials and municipal officials may encounter such a transaction only once in their careers and therefore are not necessarily familiar with how to deal with such matters once that portion of the township gets transferred to the new township co-owner.
The correct erven on the General Plans must be linked to the correct portion of the township, and if the process below is followed meticulously this goal will be achieved.
The property description in the township title for the proclaimed township
The process to open a township register converts the land on which the township is established into a township as depicted on an approved General Plan.
Parkdene Extension 7 Township was established on a portion of the Remaining Extent of the farm LEEUWPOORT 113 Registration Division IR Gauteng Province
The Certificate of Registered Title for Portion 170 of the said farm LEEUWPOORT, the township title for Parkdene Extension 7 Township, received an endorsement to show that this land has been laid into 337 erven and 6 parks when this township register was opened.
This means that the property description of Portion 170 of the said farm LEEUWFONTEIN in the township title for Parkdene Extension 7 Township became redundant because the erven in this new township became the new properties which the township owner can trade with.
The township owner can sell and transfer the stands in this township, but there is also another way to dispose of the township.
The disposal of a portion of the proclaimed township
If the township owner decides to sell a portion of this proclaimed township the provisions of Section 47 of the Deeds Registries Act must be followed.
The township owner and the purchaser of the portion of the township will first agree on which stands must be included in the deal to determine which portion of the township is affected by this arrangement. This list, showing the erven in question, is then given to the land surveyor to prepare a diagram for that specific portion of the township.
The boundaries of this portion of the township as depicted on this diagram must coincide with one or more of the lines of division shown on the General Plan and shall not intersect any of the erven shown on the General Plan. The diagram for the portion of Parkdene Extension 7 Township will contain the following property description:
The information on this diagram, as shown here above, is then used to draft the conveyancing documents for the transfer of the portion of the township. What is peculiar is that the portion of the township to be transferred is described as a portion of the land on which the township was established originally, even though that land was converted to the proclaimed township with erven, parks and streets already.
The property description of the portion of the township is then shown as follows in the Deed of Transfer which will be lodged at the Deeds Office:
The registration of the portion of the township into the name of the new township co-owner
When this portion of the township is transferred into the name of the purchaser the township suddenly has two township owners, the new owner of the portion of the township and the original township owner as the owner of the remaining extent of the township.
The Deeds Office must then update its records to reflect the details of the new township owner for the portion of the township. This is important as the erven situated on this portion of the township can only be disposed of by this new township owner. However, the Deeds Office has no indication from the transfer documents which were lodged of which erven are situated on this portion of the township because the property description in the Deed of Transfer is silent on which erven are situated on that portion of the township.
It is possible for the Deeds Office to plot, from reference to the General Plan for the township, which erven are situated on this portion of the township. This is the only way the examiners can determine the status of these erven if they wish to do so at the time of the transfer of the portion of the township. The examiners have to rely on the correctness of the diagram for the portion of the township as approved by the Surveyor-General. However, after transfer surely it cannot be expected from the officials working in the Data section to determine which erven are situated on the portion of the township.
The certificate issued by the land surveyor
The prudent way to deal with this is to obtain a certificate from the land surveyor who framed the diagram for the portion of the township in which certificate the link between the erven on that portion of the township and the General Plan for the township is confirmed.
The information in this certificate is required by the Data section at the Deeds Office to update its records to show that the erven listed in this certificate can only be disposed of by the new township co-owner as owner of that portion of the township.
The final records of the Deeds Office for the township with a new township co-owner
The Deeds Office records for the township will then show that there are two township owners for the township, namely the original township owner as the owner of all the erven in the township which have not been transferred so far. This township owner is the owner of the remaining extent of the township.
The second township owner is the purchaser of the portion of the township consisting of the erven as set out in the land surveyor’s certificate.
The Deeds Office must ensure that a clear distinction is made between the erven for the township owner as the owner of the remaining extent of the township and the new township owner as the owner of a specific portion of the township. This will ensure that each township owner can only dispose of the erven on his portion of the township as the erven are then linked to the correct township co-owner.
The records of the municipality
It is essential that the records of the Deeds Office reflect the information of the two township co-owners correctly. If the Deeds Office records are not captured correctly it can create a costly dissonance with the records of the municipality where the rates and taxes for the township are collected, as the municipality relies on the correctness of the Deeds Office records to update its own records.
If the municipality gets it wrong and the incorrect township co-owner is billed for the wrong erven it can create a sea of red tape which will engulf all the parties in a mire of misery trying to sort this out.