South Africa's minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza. Picture: GCIS
South Africa's minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza. Picture: GCIS

Department working to register title deeds for low cost houses - Didiza

By Mayibongwe Maqhina Time of article published Mar 9, 2021

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Cape Town - Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development Minister Thoko Didiza on Tuesday said her department has been ensuring registration of title deeds that came to their office was done.

“During lockdown, we had certain challenges because of the closure of our offices as a result of containing infections so we had backlogs.

“I must say, we have been able to address that,” she said when responding to oral questions in the National Council of Provinces.

Didiza said there had been an issue of the title deeds for low-cost housing units that were not transferred.

“We are working with the Department of Housing to see how best we can deal with those problems.

“Some of the developments were done without proper township developments, therefore, they impact how we can address issues of dealing with deeds,” she said.

Didiza also said there were other matters related to restitution cases where people’s claims were resolved but took time to be registered.

“It has been a challenge among departments. With inter-ministerial the committee on land and agriculture, we are able to fast track those processes between Public Works, National Treasury and department in order to address that challenge of deeds,” she said.

However, DA MP Christiaan Frederik Beyers Smit asked whether she agreed that properties in tribal and communal areas that do not have title deeds denied government the opportunity to collect much needed revenue for services and create a gap for tax evasion and money laundering.

“Will you start a process by ensuring every South African has equal property right to their residential and business properties?” he asked

In her response, Didiza said it was their interest that every South African should have secured tenure right on land he or she was in.

“Many proponents say it is important to have a titling programme where every South Africa has a title for land individually or a group as a collective.

“In communal areas, we have customary rights not codified in law though accepted under trusteeship of the state. That is one area we have not concluded,” Didiza said.

“I am confident we will be able to deal with the issue. There been issues raised in terms of working on policy and legislation working with traditional communities on how best to deal with this issue where you have free-hold and customary tenure,” she said.

Political Bureau

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