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There has been confusion surrounding a “new requirement” that for a transfer to be registered, a seller would need to provide the Deeds Office with a certificate issued in terms of the Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act (“SPLUMA”).

SPLUMA is national legislation and already applies to all municipalities in South Africa enabling municipalities to pass their own by-laws, as was the case when the Mbombela municipality, included in its by-laws a provision that a certificate must be lodged with the Deeds Office for every transfer of property, which lead to the panic and confusion of sellers and other individuals within the property industry.

For the municipality to issue a seller or owner with a SPLUMA Certificate for the registration/transfer purposes, the following needs to be done:  

  • all funds due by the owner in respect of the land have to be settled; 

  • all contravention penalties must be settled; 

  • all compliance directives must be complied with, which may entail obtaining various consents from different Municipal Departments; 

  • the land and buildings constructed on the land unit need to comply with the requirements of the land use scheme; 

  • all conditions of approval of any land development application must be complied with. 


SPLUMA applies to all municipalities throughout South Africa, however, before sellers and property owners panic, the implementation of SPLUMA is not without problems and challenges and thus, not all municipalities have adopted the provisions of SPLUMA in its entirety.  Tshwane, Joburg and Cape Town only require the certificate when dealing with development land, as opposed to properties separately registered before. It is unlikely that all municipalities will adapt their by-laws to comply so rigidly with SPLUMA, as it will apply more pressure on municipalities that are already over encumbered.


As it stands, normal sales of property do not require a SPLUMA Certificate, this requirement will not, for the time being, affect sales of properties within Tshwane, Johannesburg and Cape Town.

For additional information on SPLUMA please contact Phillip Silver Mathura on 011 - 646 8411

Mayuri Maharajh

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