Parliament has passed the Sectional Titles Amendment Bill and sent it to president Ramaphosa for assent.
The bill was tabled in parliament in November 2020 after being approved by cabinet in August the same year.
According to cabinet’s statement at the time, the proposed amendments provide clarity and protect the lessees in the properties under the sectional-arrangement buildings.
Overall, the bill introduces a number of additional regulations for both tenants and sectional title managers on issues ranging from extensions to common property. The changes are mainly directed at managers and Home Owners’ Associations – but will invariably have an impact on tenants.
Some of the key proposed changes include:
- Making it a requirement for developers to have a meeting with every lessee of a building in instances where part of such building is to be wholly or partially let for residential purposes, to answer questions put to the developer by the agents of the lessees;
- Provide that a certificate issued by an architect or a land surveyor must also comply with section 26(2) of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (where land is only allowed to be used for the permitted purposes);
- Provide for the amendment of sectional plans in respect of exclusive use areas;
- Provide for a developer to submit a plan for subdivision or consolidation to the surveyor-general for approval to subdivide, consolidate and to extend a section.
The bill also introduces a number of administrative requirements around issues such as sub-divisions and extension plans.
The full explanatory summary shows that the bill aims to amend the Sectional Titles Act of 1986 so as to:
- Amend certain definitions;
- Provide for the developer to answer questions put to the developer by the agents of the lessees;
- Further provide for the amendment of sectional plans in respect of exclusive use areas;
- Further provide for the amendment and cancellation of a sectional plan upon an order of the court;
- Provide for the noting of a title deed in respect of the lapsing of a reservation in terms of section 25;
- Provide for a lease of part of the common property with the consent of the holders of registered real rights;
- Amend the provisions relating to the alienation of common property;
- Further provide for the cancellation of a mortgaged section and mortgaged exclusive use area;
- Provide for a developer to submit a plan for subdivision or consolidation to the Surveyor-General for approval to subdivide, consolidate and to extend a section;
- Extend the registration of subdivision of a section, the consolidation of sections, and the extension of sections to a developer;
- Provide for the filing of replacement documentation in respect of lost or destroyed documentation;
- Amend the provisions relating to the extension of a scheme;
- Amend the provisions relating to participation quotas of sections;
- Regulate the membership of the sectional titles regulations board; and
- Provide for matters connected therewith.
The proposed laws were submitted for public comment in March 2021 and made it through deliberations with few changes. The national assembly passed the bill and sent it to the NCOP for concurrence in November 2021.
The Sectional Titles Regulations Board will be responsible for keeping the application and implementation of the act under regular review and making recommendations to the agriculture, land reform and rural development minister on amendments to the act.
The amendments contained in the bill flow from Board recommendations. The select committee on land reform, environment, mineral resources and energy passed the bill without amendments.
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