Title deed backlogs addressed

2015-05-05 06:00

The City of Cape Town is making good progress in clearing backlogs pertaining to historic title deeds, some stretching as far back as 30 years.

According to a statement, efforts to actively speed up the transfer of these title deeds are yielding results and more than half of the total backlog identified in 2012 has already been eliminated.

At the end of January, more than 13 700 historic title deeds have been transferred to previously disadvantaged beneficiaries since 2012. This has been the result of a massive effort by the City’s human settlements directorate. These transfers pertained to older housing projects that had previously been hampered from finalisation by intricate and complex processes, including legal, conveyancing and other factors, such as the missing particulars of a beneficiary.

“In early 2012, the City embarked on a project, which is still ongoing, to make permanent staff and resources available to address historical transfer backlogs, where these could be completed,” said mayco member for human settlements, Benedicta van Minnen.

“In an effort to speed up the processes involved, some of these transfers are actively being driven by the City’s project managers of human settlements housing projects, while others are being attended to at a legal level. We will not rest on our laurels as there is much work to be done. The City plans to finalise just over 11 000 of these historic transfers over the coming years,” she said.

Key areas where historic title deeds have been transferred during the time in review include Khayelitsha, Bloekombos, Wallacedene, Nomzamo, Nyanga, Philippi and Wesbank. Over the years it has been established that the most common reasons why beneficiaries have not received title deeds include unsigned sale agreements; beneficiaries who cannot be traced; incomplete applications; legalities around ownership; rezoning issues; unpaid loans by beneficiaries; and conveyancing challenges.

Each case has to be addressed individually, but could involve a combination of the challenges listed above

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