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Deeds Offices Under the Spotlight

August 14, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Measures are to be put in place as a matter of urgency to ensure that Deeds Offices address the entire backlog while continuing to attend to new lodgements.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department announced this in a statement on Deeds Office operations.

Measures include all examiners to be allowed to do examination of documents at home in order to fast track the examination of documents, staff in the Western Cape Deeds Office to increase, all Deeds Offices to re-arrange offices to ensure social distancing and safety of staff including those with co-morbidities, all officials to be provided with relevant tools of trade to allow them to work from home and the department to ensure that closure of Deeds Offices is minimised and only done under extreme circumstances.

In another statement, the department announced the further extension of the validity period of the COVID-19 Disaster Agricultural Support Fund Voucher to 30 September 2020.

The vouchers were first extended to 31 July 2020.

According to the department, the “extensions emanate from supply chain disruptions on the availability of production inputs caused by COVID-19, which negatively affected farmers ability to redeem their vouchers, delays in the printing of vouchers and non-availability of some production inputs in the market”.

The minister of agriculture, land reform and rural development, Thoko Didiza, acknowledged, however, that all provinces have almost distributed all approved vouchers to farmers and most have been redeemed.

“I have considered all these challenges and decided that it would be prudent to extend the validity period to 30 September 2020 to allow suppliers to build adequate stocks of production inputs and farmers to redeem their vouchers,” said Minister Didiza.