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AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
30 May 2006
SECTIONAL TITLES A/B: ADOPTION; SOUTH AFRICAN ANIMAL HEALTH ASSOCIATION
Chairperson: Ms D Nhlengethwa (ANC)
Documents handed out:
AGRICULTURE AND LAND AFFAIRS PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
Department of Land Affairs (DLA) presentation on the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill 2006
SA Animal Health Association presentation to the Committee
Sectional Titles Amendment Bill [B8-2006]
The Committee adopted amendments proposed by the Department of Land Affairs to the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill (B8-2006). It also received a briefing by the SA Animal Health Association on a single Act to control veterinary pharmaceuticals. Members questioned why the Department of Health was at all involved in animal health products and why the Association had not simply proposed the single Act it wanted. The Association felt capacity problems at the Department of Agriculture would complicate the issue.
Department of Land Affairs (DLA) presentation on Sectional Titles Amendment Bill
Mr S Lefafa (DLA) explained that the current definition of a sectional mortgage bond did not provide for the registration of a mortgage bond over exclusive use areas; areas which are part of the common property and are for the exclusive use of the owner of the relevant section in the scheme (i.e. balconies, gardens, garages, etc). He added that this caused practical difficulties due to the connection between exclusive use areas and the relevant sections in a sectional title scheme.
He therefore proposed that amendments be made to the definition of the sectional mortgage bond so as to provide for mortgage bonds to be registered over exclusive use areas.
SA Animal Health Association (SAAHA) presentation
Dr P Oberem (SAAHA President) explained to the Committee that currently there are two Acts that Veterinary Pharmaceuticals may be registered under. There was the Medicines & Related Substances Control Act, 1965 which falls under the Department of Health and the Fertilisers, Farm Feeds, Agricultural Remedies and Stock Remedies Act, 1947, which falls under the Department of Agriculture.
Dr Oberem argued that SAAHA’s proposal was that there should be one Act, and that Act should fall under the Department of Agriculture. He explained that the Act would be dedicated solely to the registration and control of Veterinary Pharmaceuticals, which are presently registered as either Veterinary Medicines or Stock Remedies.
Department of Land Affairs
Mr S Abram (ANC) remarked that as far as he understood, the proposed amendment to Clause 1 would provide for a new definition of a long-term lease, which was no longer 99 years but above ten years.
Mr Geldenhuys (DLA) explained that the definition of the sectional mortgage bond did provide for the mortgage of a lease but it did not define the lease. He added that according to common law, a long-term lease was a lease longer than ten years. Whatever was mortgaged with a sectional mortgage bond was regarded as immovable property.
Mr Abram pointed the Committee to the proposed amendment to Clause 1 which read as follows: "The proposed amendment provides for mortgage bonds to be registered over exclusive use areas." He asked the Department to explain how a person would go about registering a mortgage bond over exclusive use areas that are part of common property.
Mr Geldenhuys explained that common property could be anything from land, gardens to balconies. He pointed out that on common property what was normally done was that a certain portion of it was demarcated for exclusive use for the owner of a specific unit, such as a parking bay. So, the new amendment proposed that the owner of that unit could now mortgage the portion of the common property that was demarcated for his/her exclusive use, on the basis that his/her portion of the common property is linked to his/her specific unit.
Mr Abram remarked that he found it difficult to understand the proposed amendment to Clause 2 which read as follows: "Clause 2 of the Bill proposes the provision of the registration of a certificate of real right in respect of a share in an exclusive use area or a right reserved under section 25(1) of the Act." He asked if this meant that the Department would now provide two title deeds to a married couple; one for the husband and one for the wife. He added that perhaps the amendment meant that two unrelated people who have jointly bought a unit would receive two separate title deeds registered in the name of each individual.
Mr Geldenhuys replied that the new amendment did not propose that a married couple receive two separate title deeds. He explained that only a couple that is married out of community of property could receive two separate title deeds.
Mr Geldenhuys added that if, for example, two unrelated people decided to jointly buy property, and later one of the persons wanted to mortgage their undivided half share the Act made provision for that person to get a certificate of registered sectional title of that particular person’s half share. Further, he explained that the amendment provides for the registration of a sectional title deed in respect of joint owners’ share in an exclusive use area.
Mr Abram explained that the proposed amendment to the Clause was confusing. He pointed out he did not understand how a joint ownership of a specified unit could have two separate title deeds. He asked if there would not be unintended consequences from such a situation. He argued that, for example, what would happen if one of the individuals in the joint ownership of a unit were to take that title and against that title obtain a loan? He asked that if for some reason the person failed to carry out her/his commitment of paying back the loan and as a result his/her title deed had to go on sale, what unintended consequences could one expect, given that the joint ownership was an ownership of a physical unit. He asked if that meant that the other person’s share could be sold at the sale in execution.
Mr Geldenhuys pointed out that the undivided share meant legal ownership of a unit.
Mr S Ogunronbi (DLA) explained further that the undivided share refers to legal ownership that the two individuals jointly share and not the physical property. He added that if one of the individuals were to sell his/her undivided share that would mean that that particular person sells his/her interest to partake in sharing that property or her/his right to own that property.
Mr Abram pointed out his main problem was that he did not understand why the need for two separate title deeds.
Mr Geldenhuys explained that providing two separate title deeds was a common practise; however, what the amendment was proposing was to make provision for this common practise to be extended to exclusive use areas, which previously was not the practise.
Mr Lefafa explained that the concept behind the two separate title deeds was like a share certificate in a company, which serves as legal proof that one jointly owns that particular unit or company. He added that this was common practise; even banks accepted it and it did not only occur in the sectional title industry. He pointed out that one was able to take out a certificate of a registered title in respect of one’s share. He added that this was common practise and that the Department did this on a daily basis.
Dr AL van Niekerk (DA) pointed out that the discussion was dealing with issues that were not on the agenda, for the concept of two title deeds was in the original Act. He explained that what was on the agenda was the proposal that the original Act be extended to include exclusive use areas.
Mr Ogunronbi concurred that what the Department was proposing was to make amendments to the original Act in so far as it relates to exclusive use areas.
South African Animal Health Association
Ms Nhlengethwa had to leave the meeting halfway to attend another hearing and so Mr Abram chaired the SAAHA question session.
Dr Van Niekerk asked why the Department of Health was responsible for animal medicines. He enquired if the question of antibiotics had anything to do with it.
Dr P Oberem (SAAHA President) explained that the Department of Agriculture controls the massive crop protection industry and the very small animal health industry. He added that in terms of price, crop protection was twice as big as animal health. However, the prices of animal health products were bigger per volume. He pointed out that the volume of animal health products was less that one tenth compared to the volume of chemicals used in the crop protection industry. He argued that if the Department of Health was concerned about human health and residues, then, the Department of Health would make a case that they wanted to control crop chemicals and fertilisers as well.
He pointed out that the Department of Health respected the ability of the Department of Agriculture to control crop chemicals and fertilisers. He added that they also respected the ability of the Department of Agriculture to control 90% of the animal health products and so, why not give up control of the remaining 10 percent? He emphasised that the reason the Department of Health would not give up control of the remaining 10 percent was not because of antibiotics. He pointed out that there was a long list of antibiotics that were registered under the Department of Agriculture.
Adv P Holomisa (ANC) asked if there was any official reason given by the Department of Health for not allowing the Department of Agriculture to control the entire animal health products industry.
Dr Oberem explained that SAAHA submitted their requests to both the Department of Health and Department of Agriculture, and that it was up to the two departments to convene a meeting and discuss the issues. However, he emphasised that SAAHA was not privy to what was discussed by the two departments.
Adv Holomisa asked why the Department of Agriculture had not simply drafted the requisite law for the control of animal health products and submitted it to the Committee for consideration.
Dr Oberem pointed out that as much as SAAHA would like to do that, there were other aspects to consider. He explained that there was a capacity deficiency in the Department of Agriculture when it came to the registration of animal health products.
Mr P Ditshetelo (UCDP) wondered if SAAHA had any projects that were meant to assist the previously disadvantages farmers.
Dr Oberem explained that the individual members of SAAHA had their own internal policies; however, he added that as an association SAAHA believed in black empowerment.
The Chairperson thanked SAAHA for the presentation. He explained that the Committee had noted all the problems facing SAAHA. He added that the Committee would discuss the problems and decide on the best possible way forward.
The meeting was adjourned.