Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says government will ask the banking sector and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research to help in finding ways of using technology to fast-track the issuing of title deeds.
She said this when Ministers in the Social Services cluster fielded oral questions at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
This comes as she told Members of Parliament that while the department – through its provincial and municipal offices – has issued just under 30 000 title deeds to date, more needs to be done to fast-track the delivery thereof.
“To assist us to fast-track this, we are going to request the banking sector, together with the CSIR, to see if we cannot use technology to advance the issuing of title deeds.
“If we as a country are able to register a child at birth, it should be possible to use the same kind of technology and logic to register a house even before it is built, therefore knowing ahead of time who the title deed should belong to and the title deed should be given to at a time that the house is handed over.
Challenges in fast-tracking title deeds
Addressing MPs, Sisulu said among reasons why the government has not been able to fast-track the delivery of title deeds is because officials often arrive at the beneficiary’s address only to find that the owner of the house is no longer there.
This despite a legal requirement that makes it very clear that people who are given houses are required to be in their houses for eight years before they hand it over to anybody.
“However this is something that is regularly ignored and we are finding it difficult to fast-track this.
“Our biggest problem is that sometimes we find that we get to a house and there is a clear division in a family over who should own a title deed. The biggest problem here is that we as government cannot intervene in family disputes over who is the owner of the house in order to accord the title deed to.”
She said the department was currently seeking legal advice on how to deal with this.
Update on title deeds issued
Sisulu said, meanwhile, that in terms of title deeds that belonged to the pre-1994 era – the leading province in delivering these is the Eastern Cape, the lowest would be the Western Cape in the delivery of those title deeds.
“However, in the title deeds that would have been belonging in the period post-1994, the lead here is Gauteng that has delivered 7773 title deeds within one year and the lowest here would be the Eastern Cape.”
She said in title deeds that belonged to the current period, the province that has delivered the most title deeds was KwaZulu-Natal – with 1371 title deeds delivered, and the lowest is Limpopo, North West and the Northern Cape.
“The total number of title deeds that have been issued in the past few months is 29 000 title deeds, ensuring that on a regular basis we are able to give these out.” – SAnews.gov.za