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The Electronic Deeds Registrations Systems Act 19 of 2019 (the “Act”) was enacted and signed by the President on 19 September 2019. The Act is not yet in force and will become effective on a date to be proclaimed in the Government Gazette. According to a press release from the office of the President:

“The Electronic Deeds Registration System Act provides for the development of an Electronic Deeds Registration System – also known as e-DRS – through which South Africa will take advantage of the benefits offered by internet access, e-commerce and global computerization in the management of security of property title. The new system will enable the electronic processing, preparation and lodgment of deeds and documents by conveyancers and the Registrar of Deeds.

It will also enable the registration of large volumes of deeds effectively; improved turn-around times for providing registered deeds and documents to clients; countrywide access to deeds registration services; enhanced accuracy of examination and registration; availability of information to the public, and security features including confidentiality, non-repudiation, integrity and availability.

This will greatly enhance security of title and the acquisition and disposal of fixed assets.”

In terms of section 2 of the Act the Registrar of Deeds must develop, establish and maintain the electronic deeds registration system using information and communications technologies for the preparation, lodgment, registration, execution and storing of deeds and documents. The electronic system to be implemented will be a step towards South Africa implanting a quicker, simpler and more accurate transfer process of immovable property.

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