OFFICE OF THE CHIEF REGISTRAR OF DEEDS
Private Bag X918, PRETORIA, 0001; TEL: (012) 338 7350, WEB: www.drdlr.gov.za
Reference : P13
Enquiries : T Ayres – Telephone : (012) 338 7350
Mr. A Theron
TMJ Attorneys Inc
RE: REQUEST WHETHER A RULING BY CAPE TOWN DEEDS REGISTRY WILL BE ACCEPTED IN ALL DEEDS OFFICES AS A UNIFORM PARACTICE.
1. Your email request of 17 March 2022 regarding the above matter refers.
2. From documentation submitted, the Deputy Registrar of Deeds: Cape Town has on 7 August 2020 ruled that it is no longer necessary to lodge General Powers or Special Powers of Attorney, even if signed outside the boarders of the Republic of South Africa. Regulation 44A of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 (DRA), which deals with the responsibility a preparer of a deed or document takes, is given as authority for the ruling.
3. Section 3(1)(u) of the DRA places a duty on Registrars to register powers of attorney whereby the agents named therein are authorized to act generally for the principals granting such powers, or to carry out a series of acts or transactions registerable in a Deeds Registry. Regulation 65(1) of the DRA requires that the original power of attorney under which a person claims to act on behalf of a person regarding any act to be performed in a Deeds Registry, must be lodged for filing with the Registrar.
4. Notwithstanding the responsibility a preparer of a document takes in terms of the said regulation 44A, which includes the responsibility that the necessary authority has been obtained for the signing of a document in a representative capacity on behalf of a natural person, the provisions of the said section 3(1)(u) and regulation 65(1) must still be complied with.
One cannot argue that the provisions of section 3(1)(u) and regulation 65(1) became pro non scripto in view of the effect of regulation 44A. An example of the application of this principle is the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984. Prior to the commencement of the said Act it was a responsibility of Registrars to check Antenuptial Contracts regarding the powers to act of females married out of community of property who were parties to transactions. In other words, Registrar’s had to ensure that the husband’s marital power was excluded, and if not excluded, that the husband’s assistance was given regarding the transaction. With the abolishing of the marital power of husbands over their spouses as from the commencement of the said Act, that responsibility on Registrars fell away, but a Registrars duty to register Antenuptial Contracts in terms of section 3(1)(k) read with section 86, remained.
5. From the above it is evident that the practice introduced by the Cape Town Deeds Office amounts to the non-compliance with legislative provisions and cannot be implemented as a uniform practice in the Deeds Offices.
6. I trust that you will find the above to your satisfaction.
C C E KNOESEN
CHIEF REGISTRAR OF DEEDS
DATE: 25 March 2022