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Q What is a registered professional land surveyor?
A person who would have a Bachelor of Science degree in Geomatics or Survey and registered with The South African Council for Professional and Technical Surveyors and licensed to perform title surveys associated with the registration of ownership or other real rights such as leases or servitudes under, on or over immovable property. A land surveyor is regulated by the Land Survey Act No. 8 of 1997 and the Sectional Titles Act No. 95 of 1986 and associated regulations.
Q Why do you need a land surveyor?
To demarcate the boundaries of land and buildings by field survey for the preparation of special plans that are examined and stored in a cadastre managed by a Government Department called the Surveyor General. A conveyancer will then register ownership in a public register (The Deeds Office) by linking a Title Deed to this special plan referred to as a diagram or Sectional Title Plan.
Q What is a cadastre?
A public register of maps and field survey records that define the boundaries and beacons of immovable property. These data have been stored since the first survey of land in South Africa in 1657, 5 years after Jan van Riebeeck landed at the Cape of Good Hope. All alterations to beacons and boundaries are recorded in the cadastre which is maintained by Surveyors-General in Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Pietermaritzburg and Polokwane (http://csg.dla.gov.za/func.htm)
Q What is a ‘diagram’?
A document containing geometrical, numerical and verbal representations of a piece of land, line, feature or area forming the basis for registration of a real right such as freehold, leasehold and servitude.
Q What is a General Plan
Similar to a diagram but it represents more than one parcel of land.
Q What is Sectional Title?
Roman-Dutch law in South Africa prescribes ‘superficies solo’ that simply states that if you own the land then you also own the buildings too. For almost 40 years though this rule is become outdated as the ownership of residential, commercial and industrial property can now take on the form of selective parts (sections) of the building and to register these rights another form of survey plans are required called Sectional Title Plans. These plans (prepared by a Sectional Title Practitioner who could be a Land Surveyor or Architect duly registered) are examined and stored in the offices of the Survey-General. Sectional Title Schemes are registered at the Deeds Office by a conveyancer.
Q Why are we so concerned about boundaries and beacons and their accuracy?
Security of title safeguards ownership and minimizes disputes and law-suits relating to the position and area of the land. Our credit system supports the registration of bonds that are tied to the land parcel or section and any doubt in the dimensions, size and positions thereof would jeopardise the security of the bond-holder. Where the value of land and improvements reaches cosmic proportions even a discrepancy of a few centimeters of land on common boundaries can result in very costly agreements.
Q What types of ownership are there?
Freehold, Leasehold, Sectional Title, Time-Share, Share-Block and Fractional ownership. These will be discussed in the next revision of the website.
Q What is a Geographical Information System?
An organised collection of computer hardware, software, geographic data, and personnel designed to efficiently capture, store, update, manipulate, integrate, analyze, and display all forms of geographically referenced information