This week past there was news of the first electronically signed property transfer having been registered. Conveyancers celebrated and lamented. Pouring cold water on this is the realisation that the deeds were not electronically lodged or registered – the Registrar of Deeds merely signed deed of transfer electronically.


I recently met up with a representative of the entity that supports emerging farmers on expropriated land. He confirmed my understanding that title, to expropriated land, is not nowadays immediately handed to the beneficiaries thereof. I could not help but wonder whether the new model of expropriation would follow this trend, especially when it comes to city properties. Assuming that this model would continue to apply to farms expropriated, the EFF point of departure that the state should own all land, may well come to pass.

The expropriation debate rages. Much depends on how the powers that are granted are exercised: the fact is that there are parcels of land which are ripe for expropriation, typically inner city buildings which are not kept and so on. The same applies to farms: I read of Zimbabwean farmers who said that few farmers use all the land that they have to its fullest potential; giving such land away does them no harm and others good. If the state uses the powers that it wishes to acquire wisely, expropriation may well become a benefit for all of us. One suspects that if the state were trusted to do this they would be much less resistance to what will come to pass anyway.


The reformed, new, democratically elected president on land reform in Zimbabwe: “This issue of new invasions is a thing of the past. The rule of law must now apply.” The difficulty with this viewpoint is that it tacitly acknowledges wrongdoings in the past – one wonders whether those ghosts will be laid to rest.