Practitioners and deeds office examiners alike still have problems with the application of the provisions of sections 3 and 6A of the Subdivision of Agricultural Land Act 70 of 1970.
The most recent reported case of Kotzé v Minister van Landbou en Andere 2003 (1) SA 445 T has now eliminated all confusion as to which land is deemed to be agricultural land. In the said case it was held that agricultural land is to mean what it meant when the Act was enacted.
Although the confusion has been eliminated, practitioners and deeds office staff still have to apply the following ruling provided for in the Chief Registrar's Circular 6 of 2002, namely:
The following documents must be lodged with all deeds in which subdivision of farm land is being given effect to:
- A consent by the Minister of Agriculture in terms of Act 70 of 1970, or
- A letter by the Department of Agriculture to the effect that the land in question is not agricultural land as defined in Act 70 of 1970 and a consent by the local authority in whose area of jurisdiction the land is situated, as required by the relevant provincial legislation, if any.
- With regard to transactions having the effect of increasing the number of registered owners of farm land in undivided shares, the consent of the Minister of Agriculture must be lodged or a letter referred to in paragraph 5.2 must be lodged. No consent by the local authority is necessary in this instance.
The above ruling will thus be applied in all transactions where the word "farm" is included in the property description.
Republished with permission from SA Deeds Journal