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Stalwo responses

22 November 2007

From Robert Krautkrämer:

I'd like to respond to Mr Rossouw's criticism of the Deeds Office and Land Surveyor's decisions to ignore the Stalwo decision.

In light of the fact that (as far as I am aware) the decision is being taken on appeal to the Constitutional Court, I for one support the decision to ignore the judgment, for the simple reason that chaos will ensue, if the judgment is enforced with immediate effect, and all the boundaries that have been put in place to protect farm land from urbanisation are to be suddenly taken away - more so and especially if the CC disagrees with the SCA - what happens then to all the affected transactions that have proceeded in the interim? It will create a haven for litigation!

From the perspective of creating certainty (at least in procedure for the time being, not so much the law) the best approach is to let the status quo remain as far as the Deeds Office and Land Affairs is concerned, and await the final decision by the CC. In all likelihood, if the CC is to uphold the SCA's decision, it is more than likely that the CC will grant the legislator a reasonable time to make the necessary amendments, to enable farm land to continue enjoying the necessary protection, and to prevent complete chaos from ensuing. One other aspect that has not been touched on yet is that of rates. If all farmland is now considered as urban land (save for those few bits of farmland - if any, that have been specifically promulgated by the Minister as being farmland), can you imagine how the local authorities must be rubbing their hands in glee, to collect new rates? Surely if agricultural land is now all urban land, their values have all jumped sky high? This in itself is an unhealthy situation.


From Corrie de Jager:

Please note that the NMMM was a category A municipality and from my interpretation of the judgement category B and C municipalities will be excluded.

Nothing much has accordingly changed except that agricultural land within the boundaries of the larger municipalities (category A) will not be subject to ACT 70/70. Agricultural land in rural areas will still have to comply with 70/70.

Please refer to Paragraphs 15 and 16 on pages 7 and 8 of the judgment as well as the reference to the Kotze case in respect of category B and C MUNICIPALITIES in paragraph 20 page 9.


And from Herman Botha:

I find it interesting that Roelie Rossouw is so docile about Stalwo. The obvious absurdity in the Stalwo decision which, by virtue of rendering major legislation useless,should be reason enough to reject the Stalwo decision out of hand. Yes, I am aware of the doctrines of precedent, etc., but the decision in Stalwo was so clearly misguided that the next case will probably overturn it.

Stalwo memorandum and Stalwo v Wary

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