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Sectional Titles Amendment Bill Heading for Parliament

September 22, 2020

Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

The Draft Sectional Titles Amendment Bill is heading for parliament.

The agriculture, land reform and rural development department published the draft bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 43722.

The draft bill aims to amend the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 so as to:

• refine certain definitions;
• provide for the developer to answer questions put to the developer by the agents of the lessees;
• provide that a certificate issued by an architect or a land surveyor must also comply with section 26(2) of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, 2013;
• further provide for the amendment of sectional plans in respect of exclusive use areas;
• further provide for the amendment and cancellation of a sectional plan upon an order of the court;
• provide for the noting of a title deed in respect of the lapsing of a reservation in terms of section 25;
• provide for a lease of part of the common property with the consent of the holders of registered real rights;
• amend the provisions relating to the alienation of common property;
• further provide for the cancellation of a mortgaged section and mortgaged exclusive use area;
• also provide for a developer to submit a plan for subdivision or consolidation to the Surveyor-General for approval to subdivide, consolidate and to extend a section;
• extend the registration of subdivision of a section, the consolidation of sections, and the extension of sections to a developer;
• provide for the filing of replacement documentation in respect of lost or destroyed documentation;
• amend the provisions relating to the extension of a scheme;
• amend the provisions relating to participation quotas of sections;
• regulate the membership of the sectional titles regulations board;
• amend the transitional provisions; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The department plans to table the draft bill in parliament during the fourth quarter of 2020.

Meanwhile, in Gazette 43723, the department published the Draft Agricultural Produce Agents Amendment Bill’s explanatory summary.

The draft bill seeks to amend the Agricultural Produce Agents Act of 1992, so as to:

• refine certain definitions;
• provide for certain provisions of the Agricultural Produce Agents Act, 1992, to apply to all categories of agents;
• clarify the appointment and responsibilities of the registrar;
• provide for financial statements of the council to be audited by the Auditor General;
• provide for insurance of the fidelity fund;
• further clarify the conditions for acting as an agent;
• provide for trust accounts for export agents;
• provide for insurance by export and fresh produce agents; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The draft bill will also be tabled in parliament during the fourth quarter.

Cabinet approved both bills at the end of August 2020 for tabling in parliament.

In Gazette 43720, the department published the amendment of statutory measures for maize products, wheaten products and oilseeds products in terms of the Marketing of Agricultural Products Act.

The amendments came into effect on the date of publication.

In a separate matter, the department recently briefed the national council of provinces on government’s position regarding the fate of communal land governed by traditional authorities and land redistribution.

The department clarified that government’s position is that communal land will play no part in land redistribution, but will rather be transferred to the people that live on it.

It also pointed out that policy and legislation is being developed, in line with the recommendations of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture, adopted by cabinet in December 2019, that will clarify government’s position and the necessary institutional framework for future administration of communal land.

The department emphasized that relevant stakeholders, including traditional leaders, will participate in the process.

Following the briefing, the select committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy welcomed the government-led development of infrastructure in rural areas, which will assist subsistence farming on communal land and is critical for food security.

In a statement, the select committee “urged the department to finalise the policy and legislation regarding communal land, and requested more interaction with the department on policy and the finances needed to take the process forward”.