On 29 April 2020 further regulations were issued in terms of the Disaster Management Act, No. 57 of 2002. In terms of such regulations, the various Deeds Offices are deemed to be essential government and administration services which may operate during level 4 of the National Lockdown. Further in terms of the regulations, professionals may operate in support of other level 4 services. This allows attorneys to operate in support of the Deeds Offices.
Although there have been a number of announcements that the Deeds Offices will open on the 4th of May, the Deeds Offices will not be accessible to conveyancers until the necessary preparatory work has been completed. It has been intimated to us that in the case of the Johannesburg Deeds Office, this will probably be on Wednesday or Thursday of next week. Access to the Deeds Office will be limited to conveyancers and possibly their support staff on a strict and regulated manner to ensure social distancing and safety of all parties concerned.
The imminent opening of the Deeds Offices is fantastic news for the property industry. This means that matters which are presently in the Deeds Offices can be registered (subject to the clearance certificates having not expired). We understand that lodgement of new matters may be delayed until the existing pipeline has been cleared.
Our offices continued operating during the lockdown period. We now welcome the ability to engage with the Deeds Offices and to sign transfer and bond documents with our clients. We are engaging directly with the relevant Deeds Offices and will ensure that when we are able to attend to their offices, we will expedite our transactions wherever possible.