South Africa to move to electronic title deeds system to deal with massive new land reform

 ·7 Dec 2017
Government communication DoC

The Department of Rural development and Land Reform has announced that intends to introduce the Electronic Deeds Registration Systems Bill in the National Assembly during the first quarter of 2018.

“The Bill provides for the development of an electronic deeds registration system in order to effect the registration of large volumes of deeds as necessitated by government’s land reform initiatives,” the department said.

“The Bill further seeks to expedite the registration of deeds by decreasing the time required for the deeds registration process having regard to legislation regulating electronic communication and transactions; and to provide for matters connected therewith.”

Under this new legislation, a computer system known as the Deeds Registration System (e-DRS) will be put in place for the purpose of maintaining the electronic land register.

“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 measure,” the department said.

This new system will improve efficiency and accuracy of the country’s land information management; the demand for decentralisation of services, and provide registration capability for other forms of land tenure that the government may introduce in future, the department said.

“The e-DRS will provide for, among 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,” it said.

Read: Parliament starts process to re-open land claims

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