South Africa is experiencing a massive housing backlog in urban low-cost housing. This study attempted to identify the impediments and delays that exist in the transfer of low-cost housing within the current legal framework in South Africa.
Structured interviews were conducted with forty-five practicing conveyancers and fifteen deeds office examiners at the Deeds Office in Pretoria, South Africa. The Deeds Office in Pretoria is considered to be representative of other deeds offices in South Africa as it is one of the largest, with a uniform registration process. It was established that a low percentage of low-cost properties are freely transferable.
The main economic impediments are the absence of financing and the affordability or payment of rates and taxes to local government. Encroachment of buildings on neighbouring stands caused by enlargement of existing small units on small stands also cause long-term unresolved legal disputes.
In addition, as transfer of properties is dependent on the proper functioning of administrative functions of various government departments, the adverse service delivery of government departments hampers transfer. Addressing the identified problems will contribute to a more sustainable process for the transfer of low-cost housing units in South Africa.
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