Answer to a question from a reader

I was awarded an erf 18 years ago but didn’t know about it. What should I do?

The short answer

The municipality should still have records of awards of land made in 2002/3

The long answer

In theory, the municipality concerned should still have records of awards of land made in 2002/3 and to whom they were awarded. In reality, of course, it is very possible that the municipality will say they no longer have records dating back to 2002/3.    

Perhaps you should ask the committee member if he would be willing to make a sworn affidavit explaining that you were awarded an erf, which erf it was and why you were not notified at the time. If you were able to establish the erf number, you could go to the Deeds Office and give them your full name and ID number and the erf number and find out if there was ever a title deed issued. A deed proves ownership, identifies the property, the reason for the transfer of ownership and the details of the old owner and the present owner.

If you are not able to establish which erf it was from the records or from the committee member, you could contact the Human Settlements Department. There is an online housing subsidy address where you can enter your ID number to check your status: https://www.hssonline.gov.za/version3/

If you could prove that an erf was awarded to you, you could approach Legal Aid and ask them if it is still possible for you to claim the erf after 18 years, and if so, you could ask them to assist you. 

Their contact details:

Reception (National Office): 011 877 2000
Legal Aid Advice Line (Toll-free): 0800 110 110
Legal Aid Ethics Hotline: 0800 153 728
Please-Call-Me number: 079 835 7179

Answered on June 18, 2020, 8 a.m.

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