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Unpaid power bill creates ‘a costly mess’ at Tshwane deeds office

Earlier in November, the Pretoria deeds office was shuttered for the better part of three days when its power was disconnected owing to an overdue payment of R3,646,904.99 owed by the landlord. This was verified by Tshwane spokeswoman Selby Bokaba, who said that the department of public works intervened and arranged for the debt to be paid – despite the fact that the department was not liable for the nonpayment.The closure of the deeds office in Pretoria after its electricity was disconnected could have a knock-on effect for the property industry, including estate agents, buyers and sellers. Stock image.

Public works minister Thami Mchunu explained that his department was not at fault and that it owed Tshwane no money for any properties leased on behalf of client departments. He said that the department had paid the landlord's invoices in full and was not in arrears. The landlord was the one who had neglected to pay the power bill.

Mchunu and Bokaba both said that electricity to the deeds office was restored when public works intervened and reached an undisclosed arrangement. Due to backlogs, the transfer procedure, which used to take eight to ten days, ended up taking an average of 14 or 15 days, according to a lawyer who contacts with the office on a regular basis, as well as an agency with branches across the provinces.See the source image

A week or more's delay in a single transfer might easily cost R100,000 in lost revenue and associated fees. When multiplied by the projected 66,000 homes valued at R1.2 million or more that change hands each year, deeds office bottlenecks cost house purchasers, sellers, the real estate sector, and the economy billions.

While electricity was restored to the Pretoria deeds offices, the metro acknowledged it owed R1,215,969,300.02 to government ministries and embassies, but was unable to identify the defaulters in accordance with the POPI Act. Bokaba said that the metro was now adopting a hard stance and disconnecting meters in arrears with the municipality on property taxes, water, and electricity services in order to guarantee revenue collection meets the mandated 95 percent level.See the source image

While the closure of the Pretoria deeds office lasted just three days, it pushed the total number of office shutdown days at SA's largest deeds office to at least 26 this year.

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Unpaid power bill creates ‘a costly mess’ at Tshwane deeds office (timeslive.co.za)

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Mchunu Pretoria Selby Thami Mchunu Tshwane

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