The Select Committee on Land and Mineral Resources invites you to submit written comments on the Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill.
The Bill seeks to provide for electronic deeds registration, having regard to legislation regulating electronic communication and transactions; and to provide for matters connected therewith.
You are invited to provide suggestions or comments in support or objection via the form below. Should you be unsure, please read the live comments, media, summary or documents below. Closing date is Thursday, 28 February 2019
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Security of title in South Africa is not explicitly guaranteed by statute, but flows from the unique deeds registration system which is based on specific responsibilities assigned by the Deeds Registries Act, 1937 (Act No. 47 of 1937) (‘‘the Act’’), to both the conveyancer (who prepares and lodges deeds and documents) and the Registrar of Deeds whose registration function is calculated to afford security of title.
A computer system known as the Deeds Registration System is in place for the purpose of maintaining the electronic land register. Apart from this electronic process, the preparation and lodgement by the conveyancer, as well as the processing of deeds and documents by the Registrar of Deeds, take place manually. With the advent of the Internet, e-commerce and global computerization, there has been an increased need for electronic service delivery and a number of new challenges are now facing the Deeds Registries, for example, the inability of the present registration infrastructure and resources, to accommodate the increase in volume in respect of an anticipated 20 million land parcels of the government’s land reform measures; the need to link with the electronic Cadastral Information System, in order to improve efficiency and accuracy of South Africa’s land information management; the demand for decentralization of services, in order to effect delivery at point of need; the necessity for consolidating and rationalizing diversified registration procedures created through legislation by previous political dispensation; and the need to provide registration capability for other forms of land tenure that the government may introduce in future. To meet the above-mentioned challenges, the Office of the Chief Registrar of Deeds embarked on a project for the implementation of e-commerce principles, in order to facilitate an Electronic Deeds Registration System (‘‘e-DRS’’). The e-DRS will provide for, amongst other things, the registration of large volumes of deeds effectively; improved turn-around times for providing registered deeds and documents to clients; provide country wide access to deeds registration services; enhanced accuracy of examination and registration; availability of information to the public; and security features including confidentiality, non-repudiation, integrity and availability. The Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill, 2017 (‘‘the Bill’’) has been drafted to provide legislation that is required for the development of an e-DRS.
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