GLOSSARY Basic explanation of the terminology related to notarial practice.
ATTACHMENT A formal act performed by the sheriff of the court in terms of an order for execution issued by a court and an authorising writ of execution, whereby the judgment creditor acquires a judicial real security right to the object attached in fulfilment of the judgment debt.
ATTEST To bear witness; to affirm the validity of something (e.g. the signature on a document). Depending on the context in which the word is used, attest can also mean ‘‘to bear witness and sign”.
CAVEAT (see also Interdict) (in the conveyancing context) A notice of warning entered by the registrar of deeds (see s 3(1)(w) of the Deeds Act). It indicates a possible prohibition against dealing with a right to property or the possible restriction on the capacity of a registered holder of a right to act, for example in terms of a provisional sequestration order or other provisional order.
CEDE (in the notarial and conveyancing context) The transfer of a right (a claim [personal right] or a limited real right) by the holder of the right (the cedent) to the person who takes the transfer of the right (the cessionary).
CERTIFICATE OF CONSOLIDATED TITLE A substituting title deed in terms of which two or more pieces of land belonging to the same owner (or more owners holding each component in the same undivided shares) are consolidated. No transfer of ownership is affected, and the certificate is issued in place of the existing title deeds of the constituent components.
CERTIFICATE OF REGISTERED TITLE A substituting title deed is issued in place of an existing title deed, which does not affect any transfer of ownership. It is merely an extract of facts from the existing title deed(s).
CERTIFIED COPY A duplicate (e.g., a photocopy) of a document to which a certificate is attached, confirming that the copy is a true version of the original document.
CLEARANCE CERTIFICATE A receipt issued by a local authority as proof of payment of taxes and levies.
CONVEYANCER A public officer admitted and authorised by the High Court to prepare and execute documents for registration in terms of the provisions of the Deeds Act and the Sectional Titles Act. Only a practising attorney may practise as a conveyancer (see also, the definition of ‘‘conveyancer” in s 102 of the Deeds Act).
DEED (see also Document) For the purposes of this guide and unless the contrary appears, ‘‘deed” includes reference to a deed of transfer, a substituting title deed, a mortgage bond or a notarially executed contract.
DEED OF GRANT A title deed (a ‘‘deed of transfer”) by means of which acquired or unalienated state land is transferred by the state to a new owner (see s 18 of the Deeds Act).
DEED OF PARTITION TRANSFER A deed of transfer whereby, in terms of redistribution, a demarcated portion of land or a new undivided share in the land (where the co-owner relationship is to continue) is transferred to a co-owner in the place of their original undivided share in the land. The redistribution can be in terms of an agreement or a court order.
DEED OF SALE A document containing a contract of sale. A deed of sale is an agreement in terms of which a party (called the seller) sells a thing to another party (called the purchaser), who purchases the item.
DEED OF SERVITUDE
A document containing a servitude agreement. It is drafted and attested by a notary and is registered in the deed’s registry.
DEED OF TRANSFER
A document prepared by a conveyancer and registered in the deed’s registry, evidencing the transfer of the ownership of land from the owner, called the transferor, to the acquirer called the transferee.
A central government office where the transfer of ownership and other limited real rights over immovable property and related issues are noted and registered in terms of the Deeds Act and the Sectional Titles Act, and where the evidence of such registrations and notations are kept. See the definition of ‘‘deeds registry” in s 102 of the Deeds Act, where ‘‘deeds registry” (deeds office) is defined as follows: (a) when used about immovable property, the deeds registry, which serves the area in which that property is situated; (b) when used about any deed or other document, any deeds registry in the Republic wherein that deed or other document is registered or registrable; (c) when used about a registrar, the deeds registry of which they are in charge.
A map of a surveyed piece of land which indicates the measurements and extent of the land, drafted by a surveyor and approved by the Surveyor-General or another competent official (compare the definition of ‘‘diagram” in s 102 of the Deeds Act).
(See also Deed) For the purposes of this guide and unless the contrary appears, the document includes all documents that do not qualify as deeds. This guide, refers mainly to a power of attorney, consent, a waiver, an application, a notice, a clearance or a statement.
The tenement (immovable property) in favour of which a praedial servitude (over the servient tenement) is exercised. EXECUTE (in the notarial and conveyancing context) The formal act of signing a document or deed, thereby giving it full effect.
EXECUTOR A person whose appointment as such is confirmed by the Master of the High Court and who is responsible for the winding up of a deceased estate. This term also includes any legally acknowledged representative of a deceased person.
A plan which represents the relative positions and dimensions of two or more pieces of land and has been signed by a person recognised by law as a land surveyor, and which has been approved, provisionally approved or certified as a general plan by a Surveyor General or other officer empowered under any law to approve, provisionally approve or certify a general plan. It includes a general plan or copies thereof prepared in a Surveyor-General’s office and approved, provisionally 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 a deeds registry or Surveyor-General’s HABITATIO (habitation)
A personal servitude that entitles the holder and their household to inhabit the building of an owner while preserving the substance of the dwelling for a specified period or if the holder of the right lives.
Land and everything that is permanently attached to the land (see, however, the definitions of ‘‘immovable property” and ‘‘land” in s 102 of the Deeds Act).
A notice entered (against a title deed) by the registrar of deeds (see s 3(1)(w) of the Deeds Act). It indicates a prohibition against dealing with a right to property, for example, in terms of an attachment or that there is a restriction on the capacity to act of a registered holder of a right in terms of a final sequestration order.
LEASE (deed of lease) A document containing a reciprocal agreement in terms of which a person (normally the owner), called the lessor, agrees to grant the use and enjoyment of a thing for a prescribed period, in return for the payment of monetary remuneration, to another a person called the lessee.
The formal handing in of deeds or documents at the deeds registry for the purpose of registration.
LONG-TERM LEASE A lease for ten years or longer.
MASTER OF THE HIGH COURT
A chief executive officer of the High Court who supervises the winding up and administration of deceased and insolvent estates.
A limited real security right to the thing of another as security for the payment of a debt. A distinction is made between a mortgage over immovables and a notarial mortgage over movables.
The person or institution who, as the mortgage creditor, on registration of a mortgage bond acquires a mortgage over the immovable property of the mortgagor.
MORTGAGE BOND A document prepared by a conveyancer and registered in a deeds registry in terms of which the mortgagor grants a mortgage over their immovable property in favour of the mortgagee.
MORTGAGOR The person or institution who, as mortgage debtor, presents his, her or its immovable property, in terms of a mortgage bond, as security for payment of the mortgage debt to the mortgagee.
NOTARIAL MORTGAGE A mortgage over movable property embodied in a notarial deed of hypothecation.
NOTARIAL MORTGAGE BOND A document prepared by and executed before a notary and registered in the deeds registry in terms of which the mortgagor grants a mortgage over their movable property (specifically or in general) in favour of the mortgagee. A notarial mortgage bond is generally and, also in this guide, referred to as a ‘‘notarial bond”.
A public officer admitted and authorised by the High Court of South Africa to prepare, execute and attest contracts and other documents and to authenticate public acts under the supervision of the High Court, and who must have passed a specialised examination prescribed by the Law Society in terms of the statute. Only a practising attorney admitted as a notary may practise as a notary. (Compare the definition of ‘‘notary public” in s 102 of the Deeds Act.