Deeds Registry Act, 1968
Act 37 of 1968
- Assented to on 25 November 1968
- Commenced on 1 May 1973
- [This is the version of this document at 1 December 1998.]
Part I – Preliminary
1. Short titleThis may be cited as the Deeds Registry Act, 1968.
2. InterpretationIn this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—“Act” includes regulations;“board” shall be construed as meaning the Human Settlement Authority established under section 4 of the Human Settlement Authority Act, No. 2 of 1988;“concession” means a grant of land or the use thereof for agricultural, mining or grazing purposes, or any grant of minerals or mineral products or timber made by or on behalf of the King or the Ngwenyama, and confirmed either by the former Chief Court of Swaziland or by the former High Commissioner under Part III of the Concessions Act, No. 3 of 1904;“conveyancer” means a person lawfully admitted to practise as such in Swaziland;“court” means the High Court of Swaziland or any judge thereof;“Deeds Registry” means the Deeds Registry established under section 3;“diagram” means a document containing geometrical, numerical and verbal representations of a piece of land which has been signed by a surveyor, and which has been approved or certified by the Surveyor-General or other officer empowered so to approve or certify a diagram on his behalf and includes a diagram or a copy thereof prepared in the office of the Surveyor-General and approved or certified as aforesaid, or a diagram which has at any time prior to the commencement of this Act been accepted for registration as a diagram in the Deeds Registry or the Surveyor-General’s office;“general plan” means a plan which represents the relative positions and dimensions of two or more pieces of land and which has been prepared and signed by a surveyor and approved or certified as a general plan by the Surveyor-General or other officer empowered so to approve or certify a general plan on his behalf and includes a general plan or copy thereof prepared in the office of the Surveyor-General and approved or certified as aforesaid, or a general plan which has at any time prior to the commencement of this Act been accepted for registration in the Deeds Registry or the Surveyor-General’s office;“immovable property” includes—(a)concession;(b)registered lease of rights to minerals; and(c)registered lease of land which, when entered into, was for a period of not less than ten years or for the natural life of the lessee or any other person mentioned in the lease, or which is renewable from time to time at the will of the lessee indefinitely or for periods which together with the first period amount in all to not less than ten years;“land” includes an undivided share in land;“Land Survey Act” means the Land Survey Act, No. 46 of 1961;“lot” means a piece of land registered as a lot, erf, plot or stand in the Deeds Registry and which is represented as an independent entity on the approved general plan of an established township by or under any law but does not include a piece of land intended to serve as a street or thoroughfare in such township;[Amended A.5/1973]“Master” means the Master or Assistant Master of the High Court;“Minister” means the Minister for Justice;[Amended A.5/1973]“mineral” has the meaning assigned to it in the Mining Proclamation (Cap. 145) or any amendment or substitution of such Proclamation, and includes “precious metals” or “precious stones” in the meaning assigned thereto in the said Proclamation or any amendment or substitution thereof;[Added A.5/1973]“mortgage bond” means a bond attested by the Registrar specially hypothecating immovable property;“notarial bond” means a bond attested by a notary public hypothecating movable property generally or specially;“notarial deed” means a deed attested by a notary public, and does not include a document a signature to which is merely authenticated by a notary public, or a copy of a document which has been certified as correct by a notary public;“notary public” means, in relation to any deed or other document creating or conveying real rights in land, or in relation to any other document executed within Swaziland, a person lawfully admitted to practise as such in Swaziland and in relation to any document, other than a deed or document creating or conveying real rights in land, executed outside Swaziland, a person practising as such in the place where the document is executed;“owner” means, in relation to immovable property, person registered in the Deeds Registry as the owner or holder thereof and includes the trustee in an insolvent estate, the liquidator of a company which is an owner and the representative recognized by law of any owner who has died, or is a minor, or is of unsound mind or is otherwise under disability, where such trustee, liquidator or legal representative is acting within the authority conferred on him by law;“prospecting contract” means a notarial deed whereby the registered holder of the right to minerals in land, grants the right to prospect and seek for any minerals in the land together with the right to lease any right to any such minerals;[Amended A.5/1973]“real right” means any right which becomes a real right upon registration;“registered” means registered in the Deeds Registry;“Registrar” means the Registrar or Assistant Registrar of Deeds appointed under the provisions of this Act;[Amended A.5/1973]“Registry duplicate” means the counterpart or copy of a deed, consisting of more than one copy, which is filed or intended to be filed of record in the Deeds Registry;“regulation” means a regulation made under section 9;“share”, in relation to land, means an undivided share;“surveyor” means a land surveyor registered as such in terms of the Land Survey Act, No. 46 of 1961;“township” includes—(a)a group of pieces of land, or of subdivisions of a piece of land, which are combined with streets and public places and are used mainly for residential, business, industrial or similar purposes, or are intended to be so used;(b)an area of land registered or recognized at the commencement of this Act in the Deeds Registry as a township if a general plan thereto is filed in the Deeds Registry or in the office of the Surveyor-General(c)a township established, approved, proclaimed or otherwise recognized as such under any law;“Townships Board” means the Private Townships Board established by section 3 of the Private Townships Act, No. 17 of 1961.
3. Establishment of Deeds Registry
4. Appointment of Registrar
5. Duties of RegistrarThe Registrar shall—
6. Powers of Registrar
7. Registered deeds not to be cancelled except upon an order of court
8. Inspection of records and supply of informationThe Registrar shall, on such conditions as may be prescribed and upon payment of the prescribed fees, permit any member of the public to inspect the public registers and other public records in the Registry, other than the index to such registers or records, and to make copies of those records or extracts from those registers and to obtain such other information concerning deeds or other documents registered or filed in the Registry as, prior to the commencement of this Act, could, customarily, be made or obtained:Provided that no such fee shall be payable in respect of any search or inspection made in the Deeds Registry—
Part II – Registration
11. Continuation of existing registers
12. When registration takes place
13. Deeds to follow sequence of their relative causes
14. Preparation of deeds by conveyancerSave as is otherwise provided in this Act or in any other law, no deed of transfer, mortgage bond or certificate of title or registration of any kind mentioned in this Act shall be attested, executed or registered by the Registrar unless it has been prepared by a conveyancer.
15. How real rights shall be transferredSave as otherwise provided in this Act or in any other law the ownership of land may be conveyed from one person to another only by means of a deed of transfer executed or attested by the Registrar, and other real rights in land may be conveyed from one person to another only by means of a deed of cession attested by a notary public and registered by the Registrar:Provided that notarial attestation shall not be necessary in respect of the conveyance of real rights acquired under a mortgage bond.
16. Special provisions relating to women
Part III – Registration of land
Transfer of land
17. Manner of dealing with Government land
18. Form and manner of execution of deeds of transferDeeds of transfer shall be prepared in the forms prescribed by law or by regulation or in such other form as the Registrar may in special cases approve and, save as in this Act or any other law provided or as ordered by the court in respect of deeds of transfer executed by the Registrar, shall be executed in the presence of the Registrar by the owner of the land described therein or by a conveyancer authorized by power of attorney to act on behalf of the owner and shall be attested by the Registrar.
19. General plan of subdivision of a piece of land not divided for township purposes
20. Transfer from joint estateIn any transfer lodged in the Deeds Registry relating to land which is an asset in a joint estate, the surviving spouse shall be joined in his personal capacity with the executor of the estate of the deceased spouse except—
21. Transfer of two or more pieces of land by one deed
22. Transfer of undivided shares in land by one deed
23. Transfer to undivided shares in more than one piece of land to two or more persons in one deedUndivided shares in more than one piece of land may not be transferred to two or more persons by one deed unless the shares appropriated to each person are the same in respect of each piece of land.
24. Special provisions relating to transfer of undivided shares
25. Special provisions relating to partnership property
26. Transfer to unascertained children
27. Deeds of partition transfer
28. Requisites where share in land partitioned is mortgaged
29. Requisites where share in land partitioned is subject to other rights
31. Partition of land subject to fideicommissum
32. Registration of title by other than the ordinary procedure
Substituted title deeds
33. Certificate of registered title of undivided share
34. Certificate of registered title of aggregate shareAny person who is, by virtue of more than one title deed, the owner of undivided shares in one or more than one piece of land may, subject to the provisions of section 36, obtain a certificate of registered title in respect of his aggregate share in the land:Provided that if there are two or more pieces of land the several pieces of land or shares therein shall be described in separate paragraphs.
35. Certificate of registered title of one or more properties held under one deedA person who holds two or more pieces of land, or undivided shares therein, by one title deed may, subject to the provisions of section 36, obtain a certificate of registered title in respect of one or more of such pieces of land or of the undivided share or shares held by him therein:Provided that at least one of the pieces of land or the share therein held by that deed remains held thereby.
36. Conditions governing the issue of certificates of registered title
37. Certificate of registered title taking place of lost or destroyed deed
38. Certificate of registered title to correct error in registration or omit lapsed servitudes
39. Certificate of consolidated title of two or more pieces of land
40. Certificate of uniform title
41. Certificate of amended title of one piece of land
42. Certificate of registered title of a portion of a piece of land
Change of title by endorsement
43. Rectification of title by endorsement
44. Transfer or cession by means of endorsement
45. Endorsement of deeds where marriage dissolved by divorce
Part IV – Townships
46. Requirements in case of subdivision of land into lots
47. Transfer of township or portion thereofThe owner of land in respect of which a register has been opened under section 46 may transfer, by one deed, the whole or any portion of such land or a share in the whole of such land:Provided that—
48. Extension of the boundaries of an existing township
Part V – Bonds
49. Execution of bonds
50. Requirements in case of bonds intended to secure future debts
51. Cession of bond to secure future advancesA cession of a mortgage bond or notarial bond passed to secure future advances may be registered and the registration of such cession shall not affect the provisions of the bond relating to future advances up to the amount stated in such bond or the amount as reduced.
52. Exclusion of general clause in mortgage bonds
53. No bond to be passed in favour of an agentNo mortgage bond or notarial bond shall be passed in favour of any person as the agent of a principal.
54. Requirements in case of bonds passed by or in favour of two or more persons
55. Transfer of hypothecated immovable property
56. Substitution of debtor in respect of a mortgage bond
57. Returns by Master in connection with insolvent estates and further provisions relative to insolvent estates
58. Endorsement of bond after sale in executionWhenever any mortgaged immovable property has been sold, in execution of a judgment of a competent court or under express authority contained in a special law, to satisfy any debt due in respect of a registered bond or otherwise, and the proceeds of the sale have been paid to the legal holder of the bond, the sheriff or deputy sheriff or messenger concerned or the person acting under the authority of such special law shall notify to the Registrar how much of the special sum due in terms of the bond has been paid, and shall transmit the bond to the Registrar and the Registrar shall thereupon write off the amount so paid in the appropriate registers and on the bond and the Registry duplicate thereof.
59. Consent of bondholder to registration of merger of rights of mortgagorIf the holder of a mortgaged lease of land or of mortgaged real rights in land acquires the ownership of that land, or if the holder of a mortgaged lease of real rights in land acquires those rights, or if the owner of mortgaged land, which is entitled to rights of servitude over other land, acquires the ownership of that other land, such acquisition of the additional land or rights shall not be registered without the consent in writing of the holder of the bond.
60. Registration of notarial bonds
Part VI – Rights in immovable property
61. Restriction on registration of rights in immovable propertyNo deed, or condition in a deed, purporting to create or embodying any personal right and no condition which does not restrict the exercise of any right of ownership in respect of immovable property shall be capable of registration.
62. Certificates of registered real rights
63. Registration of notarial deed creating personal servitude
64. Restriction on registration of personal servitudesNo personal servitude of usufruct, usus or habitatio purporting to extend beyond the lifetime of the person in whose favour it is created shall be registered, nor may a transfer or cession of that personal servitude, to any person other than the owner of the land encumbered thereby, be registered.
65. Reservation of personal servitudesA personal servitude may be reserved by condition in a deed of transfer of land, if the reservation is in favour of the transferor, or in favour of the transferor and his spouse or the survivor of them, if they are married in community of property, or in favour of the surviving spouse if transfer is passed from the joint estate of spouses who were married in community of property.
66. Registration of lapse of personal servitude
67. Transfer and mortgage of land with personal servitude thereon
68. Transfer and mortgage of land subject to fideicommissum
Rights to minerals
69. Registration of certificate of rights to minerals prerequisite to dealing with minerals
70. Issue of certificate of rights to minerals
71. Portion of a mineral area not to be dealt with except upon production of a diagram of such portionWhere a certificate of rights to minerals has been registered under the provisions of section 70, the holder of the rights to minerals may not deal with the minerals generally or with a specific mineral or minerals in respect of a portion of a mineral area except upon the production of a diagram of the said portion.
72. No merger of mineral and land titlesNotwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law, whenever a certificate has been issued, as provided for in section 70 in respect of mineral rights, the rights to minerals and the land shall thereafter each be held under separate title even though the holder of the rights to minerals be also the owner of the land.
73. General provisions relating to concessions
74. Creation of praedial servitude by notarial deed
75. Conditions of registration of praedial servitudes
76. Registration of leases and sub-leases
77. Termination of registered lease
78. Cession of leases and sub-leasesNo cession of a lease or sub-lease shall be registered unless the lease or sub-lease has been registered in the Deeds Registry.
79. Hypothecation of leases and sub-leasesNo hypothecation of a lease or sub-lease shall be registered in the Deeds Registry unless the hypothecation is affected by means of—
80. Notarial bonds hypothecating leases or sub-leases
81. Registration of prospecting contracts
82. Cancellation of registration on expiry of prospecting contract or failure to renew
Part VII – Antenuptial contracts
83. Antenuptial contracts to be registeredAn antenuptial contract required to be registered under section 84 executed before and not registered at the commencement of this Act, or executed after the commencement of this Act, shall be registered in the manner and within the time mentioned in section 84, and unless so registered shall be of no force or effect as against any person who is not a party thereto.
84. Manner and time of registration of antenuptial contracts
85. Postnuptial execution of antenuptial agreementNotwithstanding the provisions of sections 83 and 84, the court may, subject to the conditions as it may deem desirable, authorize postnuptial execution of a notarial contract having the effect of an antenuptial contract, if the terms thereof were agreed upon between the intended spouses before the marriage, and may order the registration, within a specified period, of any contract so executed.
Part VIII – Miscellaneous
86. Cancellation of registration on lapse of certain registered rights
87. Transfer and cession not to be passed as securityNo transfer of land and no cession of a registered lease or sub-lease or other real right in land, except a mortgage, made as security for a debt or other obligation, shall be attested by the Registrar or registered in the Deeds Registry.
88. Taxes, transfer duty, etc. to be paid before registration
89. Registration of change of name
90. Women witnesses of deeds and documentsA female person, who would, if she were a male person, be competent to witness a document intended for registration or filing or production in the Deeds Registry, shall be competent to witness that document and any document, which was witnessed before the commencement of this Act by a female person, shall be as valid as if she had been a male person.
91. Attestation of powers of attorney executed in Swaziland
92. Execution of deeds by prospective ownersIf a deed or document required to be executed by the owner of immovable property has been executed by a person who has acquired the right to receive transfer or cession of that property, that deed or document shall, upon the person receiving transfer or cession of that property, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to have been executed by the owner of that property.
93. Notice to Registrar of application to courtBefore an application is made to the court for authority for an order involving the performance of an act in the Deeds Registry, the applicant shall give the Registrar at least fourteen days’ notice before the hearing of the application and the Registrar may submit to the court such report thereon as he may deem desirable to make.
94. Substituted copy of lost deed
95. Exemption from liability for acts or omissions in Deeds RegistryNo act or omission of the Registrar or of an officer employed in the Deeds Registry shall render the Government or the Registrar or that officer liable for damage sustained by a person in consequence of that act or omission:Provided that if that act or omission is mala fide or if the Registrar or officer has not exercised reasonable care and diligence in carrying out his duties in connection with that act or omission, the Government shall be liable for the damage aforesaid; andProvided further that the Registrar or officer guilty of that act or omission shall be liable to make good any loss or damage resulting therefrom to the Government if that act or omission was mala fide.
96. Formal defectsNo act in connection with a registration in the Deeds Registry shall be invalidated by a formal defect, whether such defect occurs in a deed passed or registered, or in a document upon the authority of which the deed has been passed or registered or which is required to be produced in connection with the passing or registration of the deed, unless a substantial injustice has by that act been done which in the opinion of the court cannot be remedied by an order of the court.
97. Repeal of laws
98. Power to exempt or give directivesThe Minister may, by notice in the Gazette—
History of this document
01 December 1998 this version
01 May 1973
25 November 1968
Cited documents 1
Documents citing this one 13
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- Mabila and Another v Syzo Investment (Pty) Ltd and Others (304 of 2013)  SZHC 443 (18 July 2013)
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- Nyembe T/a Mr. Trailer And One Stop Tyre Service And Another v Vmb Investments (Pty) Ltd (22 of 2014)  SZSC 73 (3 December 2014)
- Sihlongonyane v Sihlongonyane And Others (23 of 2018)  SZSC 52 (29 November 2018)
- VMB Investments (Pty) Ltd v Nyembe and Others (1028 of 2012)  SZHC 109 (13 June 2014)