The State Legal Adviser, in his briefing on the proposed amendments to the Geomatics Profession Bill, explained the background to this Bill, saying the surveying profession in South Africa was regulated by the Professional and Technical Surveyors Act of 1984. The Act provided for the registration of different categories of surveyors but the profession was far from being representative of the SA demographics. The Geomatics Profession Bill aimed to provide a mechanism to accelerate the transformation of the surveying profession in a meaningful manner which would serve the interests of both the profession and the public and future generation.
After he had gone through the list of amendments, the Chairperson requested that Members read through and study these amendments for report-back to the Committee at a later stage.
The Sectional Titles Amendment Bill was presented by the Acting Chief Registrar of Deeds, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform. The aims of the Bill included amending certain definitions, to regulate notification of the establishment of schemes and the sale of units to lessees, to provide for the cancellation of registered sectional plans and to regulate the issuing of a certificate of registered sectional title. It also included providing for the consent of bondholders in the registration of a sectional plan of extension and for the issuing of more than one certificate of real right of extension and real right of exclusive use area.
The Acting Chief Registrar of Deeds then gave a briefing on the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill. The aims of this Bill included providing more discretion in respect of the rectification of errors in the name of a person or the description of property mentioned in deeds. The Bill also provided for the issuing of certificates of registered title taking the place of deeds that had become incomplete or unserviceable, and to substitute an obsolete reference or an outdated heading.
Members asked if there was a cost involved in altering the name on a title deed. The Chairperson sought clarity on the implications of the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill.
The Chairperson noted apologies from the Minister and Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Land Reform. He asked Mr Gideon Hoon, State Legal Adviser, to brief them on the proposed amendments (the A-List) on the Geomatics Profession Bill.
Mr Hoon explained the background to this Bill which was the surveying profession in South Africa was regulated by the Professional and Technical Surveyors Act of 1984. The Act provided for the registration of different categories of surveyors but the profession was far from being representative of the South African demographics. Areas where the profession still needed to be transformed included the composition of the South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors, entry requirements into the profession, the funding and the rationalisation of the categories of surveyors, work reservation and disciplinary procedures. The Geomatics Profession Bill has been drafted to provide for a mechanism to accelerate the transformation of the surveying profession in a meaningful manner which would serve the interest
Portfolio Committee Amendments to Geomatics Profession Bill (B4-2013)
Mr Gideon Hoon, Principal State Law Adviser, went through individual clauses where there were proposed amendments to the Bill.
- On page 4, in line 13, to omit “surveying and” and to substitute “surveying,”
- On page 4, in line 14, after “science” to insert,” hydrographic surveying and photogrammetric surveyors”
- On page 5, in line 38, to omit “transformation. “
- On page 5, in line 43, to omit “and.”
- On page 5, in line 45, after “development” to insert “and”.
- On page 5, after line 45, to add the following subparagraph:
(v) strive to transform the profession in order to reflect the demographics of the country and to redress the imbalances of the past.
- On page 6, in line 2, to omit “11” and to substitute “13.”
- On page 6, in line 3, to omit “14” and to substitute “15.”
- On page 6, in line 11, to omit “five but not more than “seven “and to substitute “seven but not more than eight”.
- On page 6, from line 13, to omit “and of whom one must represent professional land surveyors”.
- On page 6, in line 15, to omit “four but not more than five” and to substitute “six but not more than seven”.
- On page 6, in line 15, after associations to insert “equitably”.
- On page 6, in line 45, to omit “and’.
- On page 6, in line 47, after “representation” to insert “and”.
- On page 6, after line 47, to add the following paragraph:
(e) the need to broadly reflect the different branches of the geometrics profession.
- On page 7, in line 41, to omit the second “or”.
- On page 7, in line 43, after” Council” to insert’; “or”.
- On page 7, after line 43, to add the following paragraph:
(e) has allowed his or her registration with the Council to lapse if such member’s name has been removed or suspended from the register: Provided that this paragraph does not apply to persons appointed in terms of section 4(1) (c) or (d).
- On page 12, in line 21, after “person” to insert “of the same discipline”.
Carrying on of geomatics profession by company 17 (1) and (2) relating to the terms of the Companies Act, 2008 and the provision of its Memorandum of Incorporation. Refer to page 3- 4 of Amended Bill.
- On page 22, from line 25, to omit subsection (8).
- On page 23, in line 6, to omit “maintained" and to substitute: Other than mentioned in subsection (3) maintained by the South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors or
The Chairperson proposed that the Members be given the opportunity to compare their notes and the Committee would consider the Bill for adoption at further meeting.
Sectional Titles Amendment Bill [B11-2013]: briefing
Mr Sicelo Mbatha, Acting Chief Registrar Deeds, from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, briefed the Committee on the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill.
The definition of “architect” refers to the Architects Act 35 of 1970 which has been repealed by the Architectural Profession Act 44 of 2000. The amendment to the definition seeks to correct this reference.
In addition, there is uncertainty in respect of which architects are qualified to sign certificates that state that a proposed division is not contrary to a operative town planning scheme or statutory plan. The amendment to the definition provides clarity in this regard.
The definition of “developer” provides for the inclusion of an agent or his or her successor in title, or any other person acting on behalf of any of the above mentioned persons, to act on behalf of a developer. The definition, however, does not include the developer’s agent or his successor in title in respect of the approval of development schemes. The amendment in clause 1(b) of the Bill provides for such inclusion.
The amendment to the definition of “land surveyor” clarifies which land surveyors may sign certificates – similar to the position of architects. The amendment also provides for the correct title of the Professional and Technical Surveyors Act 40 of 1984.
The amendment of section 4 of the Act is consequential to the amendment of the definition of “developer”.
Section 14 of the Act deals with the amendment and cancellation of sectional plans. However, the Act is silent on a procedure to follow with regard to the cancellation of a sectional plan upon an order of the court. Clause 3 of the Bill proposes the prescribed manner to be followed with the cancellation of such plans.
This amends Section 15B to provide for the issuing of a certificate of registered sectional title in respect of a fraction of an undivided share of a section. The addition of new subsections in clause 4 is necessary to include provisions in respect of the application by the owner of a section, as well as the lodgment and endorsement of the relevant bonds and title deeds, to indicate the issuing of the certificate referred to above.
Section 17 is silent with regard to the lodgment of the consent of owners of sections and holders of registered rights with the transfer of a part of the common property. Section 17 does also not provide for the lodgment of the relevant title deeds for the purpose of endorsement to reflect the new extent in the amended participation quota schedule, as a result of the transfer of the common property. The amendments proposed in clause 5 seek to address the situation.
Section 18 of the Act makes the provisions of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 applicable with the transfer of a mortgaged unit and mortgaged common property, and the cession of a mortgaged lease of a unit and mortgaged real right over a unit. Section 18, is silent in respect of the cession of mortgaged real rights of extension and mortgaged real rights of exclusive use areas. Clause 6 provides for the necessary inclusion.
Section 19 of the Act deals with the expropriation of common property or rights therein, as well as the cancellation of the registration of a section affected by such expropriation.The Act, however, does not provide for the cancelling of the registration of part of a section pursuant to an expropriation. Clause 7 rectifies this.
Section 25(1) provides for the extension of schemes upon unanimous resolution of the body corporate and bondholders. However, bondholders do not form part of the unanimous resolution of a body corporate. The amendment of section 25(1) to provide for the consent of the bondholders that exist on the date of taking of the unanimous resolution, as contained in clause 8 (a) of the Bill, aims to clarify the position.
The Act provides for the issuing of more than one certificate of real right of extension and more than one certificate of real right of exclusive use areas at the opening of a sectional title register. The amendment of sections 25 and of 27, as contained in clauses 8 (c), (d) and (e), as well as clauses 9(a) to 9(e) aim to rectify the position.
This contains the short title of the Bill.
The Chairperson stated that he would allow the Committee members to take the amendments home and read them all and they would examine them at a later date. He asked Mr Mbatha if the department had consulted the Department of Justice on these amendments.
Mr Mbatha stated that they had.
Mr J Van der Linde (DA) noted that page 10 of the presentation on the Deeds Registries Amendment Bill was not printed. The Chairperson requested that the secretary make a copy available to all committee members.
Deeds Registries Amendment Bill [B10-13]: briefing
The Bill amended the Deeds Registries Act, No 47 of 1937, to provide for:
- discretion in respect of rectification of errors in the name of a person or the description of property mentioned in deeds and other documents;
- issuing of certificates of registered title taking the place of deeds that had become incomplete or unserviceable; - substitution of an obsolete reference and outdated headings.
A Deeds Registries Regulations Board established in terms of section 9(1) of the Deeds Registries Act, has the power to make recommendations to the Minister and to advise the Minister on any matter referred to the Board by the Minister. The Board recommended the following amendments:
Section 4(1)(b) provides for the rectification of an error in the name of a person or the description of a property in deeds or documents. If such error is common to two or more deeds, all such deeds must be lodged for amendment. The amendment to section 4(1)(b) (iii) aims to afford the registrar of deeds discretion with regards to the lodgement, or not, of all the relevant deeds.
Section 38 provides for the issuing of certificates of registered title to take the place of lost or destroyed title deeds. This amendment to section 38 seeks to provide for the issuing of certificates of registered title in instances where title deeds become incomplete or unserviceable.
Section 44(1) makes reference to the Land Survey Act, 1927. However the Land Survey Act No 9 of 1927 has been repealed and replaced by the Land Survey Act. No 8 of 1997. The amendment in Clause 3 to section 44(1) to refer to Act No 8 of 1997 is a necessary and consequential amendment.
The heading to section 48 refers to a “Rand Township” and is outdated. The substitution of the heading, as proposed in clause 4, is necessary to provide legal certainty with regard to the deeds registry that has jurisdiction for the purposes of section 48. This is necessary since there are two deeds registries located within the Gauteng province, namely in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Section 56(1)(b) of the Act makes reference to liquidators or trustees appointed under the Agriculture Credit Act No 28 of 1966, which Act was repealed by the Agricultural Debt Management Act No 45 of 2001. The amendment to section 56(1) (b) is therefore a necessary and consequential amendment.
Section 93 provides for a change of name in deeds. It also provides for the lodgements of consent from persons that are affected by a name change and the lodgement of operative deeds in which the old name appears, for endorsement regarding the name change. Problems are experienced with the lodgements of consents / operative deeds in instances where big companies change names. This amendment to section 93(a) and (b) addresses the issue.
Section 93(1)(c), deals with the upgrading of title deeds in respect of the change of surnames of women. The amendment to section 93(1)( c ), to provide for double-barrel surnames, is necessary in order to bring it in line with the provisions of section 26 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act No 51 of 1992.
The definition of “deeds registry” makes reference to a “mining titles office”. However the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act No 28 of 2002 provides for the discontinuation of the registration of mineral rights in a deeds registry. This amendment to the definition of "deeds registry” is therefore a necessary and consequential amendment.
This contains the short title.
The Chairperson noted that some title deeds were over 400 years old and wondered if they were flexible and how this Bill would make a difference.
Mr George Tsotetsi Registrar of Deeds, Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, replied that they were talking about a process that made it easier if there were any errors, then the registrar could make amendments.
Ms Mabila (ANC) asked if it was free to change the name on a title deed.
Mr Tsotetsi replied that any changes made were recorded and endorsed and you would not pay for it.
Mr A Trollip (DA ) stated that he had sent a letter to the Chairperson of the Committee in which he explained that he would be leaving this Committee and Parliament. He had enjoyed his time working with the members and wished to thank them all for their suppport. He thanked the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, the Chairperson and members of the Portfolio Committee and PMG for all their support.
The Chairperson replied that he would like two members of the Committee, Mr Cebekhulu (IFP) and Ms Zulu (ANC), to thank Mr Trollip.
Mr Cebekhulu responded by thanking Mr Trollip on behalf of the Committee for his approach on policy matters and wished him well in the Eastern Cape.
Ms Zulu also thanked Mr Trollip for being so open and accommodating in his attitude and wished him well in his ventures.
The Chairperson stated that he appreciated Mr Trollip’s contribution to the Portfolio Committee. He noted that he was never arrogant and had frequently asked the Department probing questions about its capacity but he had always helped to get solutions to these problems.
The Chairperson noted that sometimes the Department refused to answer questions because it believed that it was too much work and they could be put off. He noted that the public could not wait for answers because these things needed to be solved and this was the reason why they needed civil servants.
The Chairperson informed the Committee members that a workshop would be held on the 7 and 8 June in the Good Hope Chamber. The workshop was about the Centenary of the Native Land Act of 1913. Members should come prepared with their questions as a variety of stakeholders representing civil society would be attending the workshop as well as other government departments.
The minutes of the 27 May 2013 meeting were adopted with amendments.
The meeting was adjourned.
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