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Non-citizen name

3 November 2011

Where a non-South African Citizen, who is the registered owner of immovable property in South Africa, has changed his/her surname and requires the Registrar of Deeds to update his/her records, the question begging an answer is whether the provisions of section 93 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 may be utilized to effect such change of name, and what proof must be submitted to the Registrar of Deeds to substantiate the change of name.

Section 2 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 51 of 1992 provides that the provisions of the Act shall also apply to “persons who are not South African citizens but who sojourn permanently or temporarily in the Republic, for whatever purpose”.

Section 26(2) of the Act provides to “any person” who has changed his or her name and section 27(1) provides that the Director-General “shall cause such application to be published in the Government Gazette”.

From the above it is thus clear that a Registrar of Deeds will require proof in the form of the publication in the Government Gazette to effect the change of name of a non-South African Citizen in his/her registers. The provisions of section 93 of the Deeds Registries Act 47 of 1937 can be applied to effect the change of name on deeds and documents registered in a deeds registry, subject to the proof alluded to above.

Allen West
Deeds Training 
Pretoria

 

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