Property Registration Reform: Ilembe District Municipality


•Conceptualising and establishing a simpler and more affordable system for registering transactions for low-income areas.

•Establishing a facility with expertise to help register or record transactions and inheritance.

•Appointing advisory teams of professionals to undertake the registration in accordance with the proposed system.

•Collating the lessons learnt from the project into a policy and regulations amendment proposal.

•Creating a public awareness and training programme on the new proposed policies and workflow for registrations.

Client: The World Bank

Date: November 2019

The provision of good quality housing and living conditions is a government priority for all citizens of South Africa. A significant proportion of those who do own homes in the country, however, do not hold title deeds. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including the complexity of systems, poor beneficiary data-keeping, housing developments that do not comply with local planning regulations, and appointment of incapable service providers. Additionally, low-income individuals often do not follow the formal registration process at all because of the expense involved and the fact that many dwellings have been informally “subdivided” or extended over time, which would invalidate the registration.

As a result of these issues, a large number of government housing developments constructed since 1994 operate and trade on an informal basis. It is in this context that in November 2018 the World Bank appointed GeoAfrika to undertake a project with the following mandate:

  • To establish a simpler and more affordable system for registering transactions for low-income areas.
  • To undertake a mass systematic registration program in order to issue the first deeds to owners in two pilot project regions of Ilembe.