Human Settlements working to clear title deeds backlog

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Pretoria – The Department of Humans Settlements says the clearing of the title deeds backlog will be one of its top priorities this year. 

Presenting her department’s R33.4 billion budget for the 2017/18 financial year in Parliament on Thursday, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the title deeds backlog has become critical because the longer it takes to deal with, the more difficult it becomes. 

She cited a study which found that of the six million registered residential properties in the Deeds Registry, 1.44 million were government-subsidised houses. 

Currently the backlog is at 760 990, including 628 000 inherited before 1994 to 2014, and 132 990 incurred from 2014. 

Minister Sisulu said the value and importance of title deeds is not only economic, as they provide individuals with an address. A title deed recognises the owner, which allows for the property to be passed on to family members in the event of death. 

“The transfer of deeds to the rightful owners is a legal obligation, where all residents have access to their title deeds,” said Minister Sisulu. 

Minister Sisulu said a Ministerial Task Team will assist with the elimination of title deeds backlog. The team reports directly to her. 

“I have also appointed a team of conveyancers, who are part of this task team, and already they have been assigned to all nine provinces to assist with the elimination of the title deeds backlog. 

“A critical element in this project is the communication and consumer awareness-raising component that will set out both the benefits and risks attached to title deeds. 

“In the MinMec [Ministers and Members of Executive Councils Meeting] held on 9 May 2017, together with the MECs, we agreed to expedite the process of the task team to ensure a speedy resolution to this matter. I have also ensured the removal of bureaucratic red tape and blockages, which impede and delay the registering and issuing of title deeds,” said Minister Sisulu.  

The task team is intended to ensure the entire backlog inherited from 2014 is cleared during this administration’s term of office. 

The MECs have undertaken to clear the current backlog from 2014 and ensure that by next year, all houses built can be given a title deed when handed over. –

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