In heeding Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities Minister David Maynier’s call for Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform Minister Thoko Didiza to urgently intervene in the repeated closure of the Cape Town Deeds Office, she has announced her commitments to address the matter.
Didiza has met with the Chief Registrar of Deeds and all provincial registrars to put a plan in place to address the challenges of backlogs in all deeds offices.
The plan includes implementation of emergency measures such as allowing for the examination of documents at home to fast-track the process, increased attendance of staffing at the Cape Town Deeds Office, re-arrangement of the deeds offices to ensure physical distancing and safety of staff, as well the provision of tools to allow for officials to work from home where possible.
She also suggested that the deeds offices minimise their total closure by only decontaminating affected areas and not whole buildings.
Maynier and industry bodies such as the Western Cape Property Development Forum have been raising their concerns about the repeated and, at times unnecessary, closure of the Cape Town Deeds Office, in particular, since it is having a considerable negative impact on the property and real estate industry in the province.
Maynier affirmed that his department stands ready to advise on the implementation of workplace safety measures at the deeds office.
“The smooth running of processes such as deeds registration are key to the success of investments in the economy and new investments are of course a vital aspect of economic recovery and growth in the Western Cape, so we look forward to these plans being implemented immediately.”