CHAPTER 33:02
DEEDS REGISTRY

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
Preliminary

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

   3.   Establishment of deeds registry

   4.   Appointment of Registrar and Assistant Registrars

   5.   Duties of Registrar

   6.   Powers of Registrar

   7.   Seal of office

   8.   Registered deeds not to be cancelled except upon an order of court

   9.   Inspection of records and supply of information

   10.   Power to undertake conveyancing functions

   11.   Regulations

PART II
Registration

Registers

   12.   Registers

   13.   Continuation of existing registers

Deeds

   14.   When registration takes place

   15.   Deeds to follow sequence of their relative causes

   16.   Preparation of deeds by conveyancer

   17.   How real rights shall be transferred

   18.   Provisions relating to married persons

PART III
Registration of Land

Transfer of Land

   19.   Manner of dealing with State land

   20.   Form and manner of execution of deeds of transfer

   21.   Transfer from joint estate

   22.   Transfer of two or more pieces of land by one deed

   23.   Transfer of undivided shares in land by one deed

   24.   Special provisions relating to transfer of undivided shares

   25.   Transfer to unascertained children

   26.   Deeds of partition transfer

   27.   Requisites where share in land partitioned is mortgaged

   28.   Requisites where share in land partitioned is subject to other rights

   29.   Effect of compliance with sections 27 and 28

   30.   Partition of land subject to fideicommissum

   31.   Registration of title by other than the ordinary procedure

Substituted Title Deeds

   32.   Certificate of registered title of undivided share

   33.   Certificate of registered title of aggregate share

   34.   Certificate of registered title of one or more properties held under one deed

   35.   Conditions governing the issue of certificates of registered title

   36.   Certificate of registered title taking place of lost or destroyed deed

   37.   Certificate of registered title to correct error in registration

   38.   Certificate of consolidated or amended title of two or more pieces of land

   39.   Certificate of amended title of one piece of land

   40.   Certificate of uniform title

   41.   Certificate of registered title of portion of a piece of land

Change of Title by Endorsement

   42.   Rectification of title by endorsement

   43.   Transfer or cession by means of endorsement

   44.   Endorsement of deeds where marriage dissolved by divorce

   45.   Cancellation of State Grant upon occurrence of specified event

PART IV
Townships and Settlements

   46.   Requirements in the case of subdivision of land

   47.   Transfer of township or portion thereof

PART V
Bonds

General Provisions

   48.   Execution of bonds

   49.   Requirements in case of bonds intended to secure future debts

   50.   Cession of bond securing future debts

   51.   Exclusion of general clause in mortgage bonds

   52.   No bond to be passed in favour of an agent

   53.   Requirements in case of bonds passed by or in favour of two or more persons

Rights of Mortgagees

   54.   Transfer of hypothecated immovable property

   55.   Substitution of debtor in respect of a bond

   56.   Returns by Master in connection with insolvent estates and further provisions relative to insolvent estates

   57.   Endorsement of bond after sale in execution

   58.   Consent of bondholder to registration of merger of rights of mortgagor

Notarial Bonds

   59.   Registration of notarial bonds

PART VI
Rights in Immovable Property

General Provisions

   60.   Restriction on registration of rights in immovable property

   61.   Certificates of registered real rights

Personal Servitudes

   62.   Registration of notarial deed creating personal servitude

   63.   Restriction on registration of personal servitude

   64.   Reservation of personal servitudes

   65.   Registration of lapse of personal servitude

   66.   Transfer and mortgage of land with personal servitude thereon or subject to a fideicommissum

Rights to Minerals

   67.   Separation from ownership of rights to minerals

   68.   Certificates of reservation of rights to minerals

   69.   Certificate of rights to minerals reserved by State

   70.   Exclusion of rights to minerals from partition of land

   71.   Undivided share of rights to minerals

Praedial Servitudes

   72.   Creation of praedial servitude by notarial deed

   73.   Conditions of registration of praedial servitudes

Leases

   74.   Registration of leases and sub-leases

   75.   Termination of registered lease

   76.   Cessions of leases and sub-leases

   77.   Hypothecation of leases and sub-leases

   78.   Notarial bonds hypothecating leases or sub-leases

   79.   Hypothecation of and settlement lease after exercise of option to purchase

Prospecting Contracts

   80.   Registration of prospecting contracts

   81.   Cancellation of registration on expiry of prospecting contract or failure to renew

PART VII
Antenuptial Contracts

   82.   Antenuptial contracts to be registered

   83.   Manner and time of registration of antenuptial contracts

   84.   Postnuptial execution of antenuptial agreement

PART VIII
Miscellaneous

   85.   Cancellation of registration on lapse of certain registered rights

   86.   Transfer and cession not to be passed as security

   87.   Taxes and transfer duty to be paid before transfer of land

   88.   Production of documents before transfer of land to a company

   89.   Registration of change of name

   90.   Women witnesses of deeds

   91.   Attestation of powers of attorney executed in Botswana

   92.   Execution of deeds by prospective owners

   93.   Notice to Registrar of application to court

   94.   Substituted copy of lost deed

   95.   Exemption from liability for acts or omissions in deeds registry

   96.   Formal defects

   97.   Special provisions relating to rights of occupation in the Ghanzi district

Proc. 36, 1960,
Law 29, 1961,
Law 27, 1963,
HMC Order 1, 1963,
L.N. 84, 1966,
Act 18, 1969,
Act 37, 1969,
Act 29, 1970,
Act 58, 1970,
Act 63, 1970,
Act 69, 1970,
Act 70, 1970,
Act 17, 1975,
Act 10, 1996,
Act 11, 2008.

An Act to consolidate and amend the laws in force in Botswana relating to the registration of deeds.

[Date of Commencement: 15th July, 1960]

PART I
Preliminary (ss 1-11)

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Deeds Registry Act.

2.   Intepretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-

   "court" means the High Court or any judge thereof;

   "deeds registry" means the deeds registry established under section 3;

   "diagram" means a diagram which has been signed by a surveyor, and which has been approved or certified by the Director 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 Director's office 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 in the deeds registry or the Director's office;

   "Director" means the Director of Surveys and Lands;

   "general plan" means a plan which represents the relative positions and dimensions of two or more pieces of land and has been signed by a surveyor, and which has been approved or certified as a general plan by the Director 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 Director's office 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 Director's office;

   "immovable property" includes-

   (a)   any registered lease of rights to minerals; and

   (b)   any registered lease of land which, when entered into, was for a period of not less than 10 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 10 years;

   "land" includes an undivided share in land;

   "Master" means the Master or Assistant Master of the High Court;

   "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 document, a person practising as such in the place where the document is executed;

   "owner", in relation to immovable property, means the person registered 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 who is a minor or 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 owner of land from which the right to minerals had not been excluded, or the registered holder of the right to minerals in land, grants the right to prospect and seek for any mineral or minerals in the land, together with-

   (a)   the right to purchase the land or any portion thereof or to purchase the right to any such mineral or minerals: or

   (b)   the right to lease any right to any such mineral or minerals;

   "real right" includes any right which becomes a real right upon registration;

   "registered" means registered in the deeds registry;

   "Registrar" means the Registrar of Deeds appointed under this Act;

   "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;

   "settlement" means a group of pieces of land or of subdivisions of a piece of land which are used or intended for use mainly for farming or horticulture, and includes a combination of such groups which is suitable for registration in one register;

   "share", in relation to land, means undivided share;

   "surveyor" means a land surveyor qualified to practise in terms of the Land Survey Act;

   "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)   any combination of such groups which is suitable for registration in one register;

   (c)   any area of land registered or recognized at the commencement of this Act, in the deeds registry as a township if a general plan thereof is filed in the deeds registry or in the office of the Director; and

   (d)   any township established, approved, proclaimed or otherwise recognized as such under any law.

3.   Establishment of deeds registry

   There shall be a deeds registry for Botswana situate at such place as the President may prescribe.

4.   Appointment of Registrar and Assistant Registrars

   The President, by notice in the Gazette, may appoint a Registrar of Deeds for Botswana and such Assistant Registrars as may be necessary who shall have the power to do any act or thing which may lawfully be done under this Act or any other law, by the Registrar of Deeds.

5.   Duties of Registrar

   The Registrar shall, subject to the provisions of this Act-

   (a)   take charge of and preserve all records which were prior to the commencement of this Act, or may become after such date, records of the deeds registry;

   (b)   examine all deeds of other documents submitted to him for execution or registration, and after examination reject any such deed or other document the execution or registration of which is not permitted by this Act or by any other law, or to the execution or registration of which any other valid objection exists;

   (c)   register grants or leases of land lawfully issued by the Government or grants issued by any other competent authority (and register amendments, renewals and cancellations of such leases, and releases of any part of the property leased);

   (d)   attest or execute and register deeds of transfer of land, and execute and register certificates of title to land;

   (e)   attest and register mortgage bonds;

   (f)   register cessions (including cessions made as security) of registered mortgage bonds, and register cancellations of such cessions if made as security;

   (g)   register cancellations of registered mortgage bonds, releases of any part of the property hypothecated thereby or of all such property if the debt is further secured by a collateral bond, releases of any joint debtor or of any surety in respect of any such bond, the substitution of another person for a debtor in respect of any such bond, reductions of cover in respect of any such bond intended to secure future debts, and part payments of the capital amount due in respect of any such bond other than a bond intended to secure future debts;

   (h)   register waivers of preference in respect of registered mortgage bonds and notarial bonds in favour of other bonds, whether registered or about to be registered and waivers of preference in respect of registered notarial bonds in favour of other notarial bonds whether registered or about to be registered;

   (i)   register waivers of preference in respect of registered real rights in land, in favour of mortgage bonds, whether registered or about to be registered;

   (j)   register notarial bonds, and cancellations and cessions thereof (including cessions made as security) and cancellations of such cessions if made as security;

   (k)   register releases of any part of the property hypothecated by any registered notarial bond or of all such property if the debt is further secured by a collateral bond, releases of any joint debtor or of any surety in respect of any such bond, reductions of cover in respect of any such bond intended to secure future debts, and part payments in respect of the capital amount due in respect of any such bond other than a bond intended to secure future debts;

   (l)   register antenuptial contracts, and register such notarial deeds of donation (including a donation to be held in trust), and such other notarial deeds having reference to persons and property within the area served by the registry as are required or permitted by law to be registered;

   (m)   register grants or leases lawfully issued by the Government, of rights to minerals;

   (n)   register notarial cessions, leases or sub-leases of rights to minerals, notarial cessions of such registered leases or sub-leases, notarial cancellations of such leases or sub-leases, certificates of registration of such rights, and reservations of such rights made in grants or transfers of land;

   (o)   register on the title deeds of the land and of the rights to minerals affected, and in the relative registers, the issue of mijnpachtbrieven;

   (p)   register any servitude, whether personal or praedial, and record the modification or extinction of any registered servitude;

   (q)   register notarial leases, sub-leases, and cessions of leases or of sub-leases, of land, and notarial amendments of such leases and sub-leases, and notarial renewals and notarial cancellations of such leases and sub-leases and notarial releases of any part of the property leased;

   (r)   register notarial prospecting contracts and notarial cessions thereof and cancellations of such contracts;

   (s)   register any real right, not specifically referred to in this section, and any cession, modification or extinction of any such registered right;

   (t)   register against any registered bond any agreement entered into by the mortgagor and the holder of that bond, whereby any terms of that bond have been varied;

   (u)   register general plans of subdivisions of land, and record in the registers kept under this Act any conditions upon which the subdivisions have been laid out or established;

   (v)   register powers of attorney whereby the agents named therein are authorized to act generally for the principals granting such powers, or to carry out a series of acts or transactions registrable in the deeds registry, and register copies of such powers registered in any other deeds registry, which have been certified by the Registrar thereof;

   (w)   make, in connection with the registration of any deed or other document, or in compliance with the requirements of any law, such endorsements on any registered deed or other document as may be necessary to give effect to such registration or to the objects of such law;

   (x)   record all notices, returns, statements, or orders of court lodged with him in terms of any law;

   (y)   remove from his records with the approval of the Master and after the lapse of 10 years from the date of entry in such records, any entry made therein, whether before or after the commencement of this Act, in pursuance of the transmission to him of a notice of liquidation or an order of liquidation or sequestration or in pursuance of the lodging with him by the Master of a return under section 22 of the Administration of Estates Act;

   (z)   make such entries in the registers kept under this Act and any other law as are necessary for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act or such other law and of maintaining an efficient system of registration calculated to afford security of title and ready reference to any registered deed,

and generally the Registrar shall discharge all such duties as by law may or are to be discharged by the Registrar of Deeds or as are necessary to give effect to this Act.

6.   Powers of Registrar

   (1) The Registrar shall have power-

   (a)   to require the production of proof upon affidavit or otherwise of any fact necessary to be established in connection with any matter or thing sought to be performed or effected in the registry;

   (b)   whenever it is in his opinion necessary or desirable to rectify in any deed or other document, registered or filed in the registry, an error in the name or the description of any person or property mentioned therein, or in the conditions affecting such property, to rectify the error:

         Provided that-

      (i)   every person appearing from the deed or other document to be interested in the rectification has consented thereto in writing;

      (ii)   if any such person refused to consent thereto, the rectification may be made on the authority of an order of court;

      (iii)   if the error is common to two or more deeds or other documents, including any register in the registry, the error shall be rectified in all those deeds or other documents,

      (iv)   no such rectification shall be made if it would have the effect of transferring any right;

   (c)   to issue, under prescribed conditions, certified copies of deeds or other documents registered or filed in the registry;

   (d)   if in his opinion any deed or other document submitted to him has become illegible or unserviceable, to require that a certified copy thereof be obtained to take its place.

   (2) The Registrar shall perform, in case of dispute, all the functions of a taxing officer of the court in relation to fees charged by conveyancers and notaries public for performing any acts which are required or permitted under this Act to be performed by conveyancers or notaries public in connection with deeds executed, registered or filed or intended to be executed, registered or filed in the deeds registry or in relation to fees charged by other legal practitioners in connection with the preliminary work necessary for the purpose of any such deed.

7.   Seal of office

   The Registrar shall have a seal of office which shall be affixed to all deeds executed or attested by him and to all copies of deeds issued by him to serve in lieu of the original deeds.

8.   Registered deeds not to be cancelled except upon an order of court

   Except as is otherwise provided in this Act or in any other law, no registered deed of grant, deed of transfer, certificate of title or other deed conferring or conveying title to land, or any real right in land other than a mortgage bond, and no cession of any registered bond not made as security, shall be cancelled by the Registrar except upon an order of court.

9.   Inspection of records and supply of information

   The 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, 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-

   (i)   by a conveyancer or notary public in connection with any deed which he has been instructed to prepare, attest or lodge in the registry;

   (ii)   by any surveyor in connection with any survey which he has been instructed to perform; or

   (iii)   by any sheriff or messenger of a magistrates' court, or his deputy, in connection with the exercise of his duties as such.

10.   Power to undertake conveyancing functions

   Notwithstanding anything in this or any other law, whenever the State is a party to any transaction involving real rights in land the preparation and execution of any documents, notarial or otherwise, and the conveyance of any rights necessary to give effect to such transaction may be undertaken by the Attorney-General or any person appointed by him in writing.

11.   Regulations

   (1) The President may make regulations prescribing-

   (a)   the fees of office (if any) to be charged in respect of any act, matter or thing required or permitted to be done in or in relation to the deeds registry, including any report made to the court by the Registrar in connection with any application or action to which he is not a party;

   (b)   the fees and charges of conveyancers and notaries public in connection with the preparation, passing and registration of deeds or other documents registered or filed or intended for registration or filing in the deeds registry and the fees and charges of any other legal practitioners in connection with the preliminary work required for the purpose of any such deed or other document and the fees and charges in connection with the taxation of any such fees or charges;

   (c)   the manner and form in which any deed or other document required or permitted to be lodged, registered or filed in the deeds registry shall be prepared, lodged, executed, registered, filed or delivered;

   (d)   the manner and form in which endorsements or entries required by this Act or any other law to be made on registered deeds or other documents or in the registers shall be made thereon or therein;

   (e)   the particular documents which, when produced in the deeds registry, shall be attested or witnessed, and the manner in which any such document shall be attested or witnessed;

   (f)   areas (hereinafter referred to as "allotment areas") in which the registration of pieces of land shall be confined to a single register or set of registers;

   (g)   the method according to which pieces of land in any such allotment area shall be numbered;

   (h)   the manner and form in which pieces of land in allotment areas may be registered;

   (i)   the manner and form in which information which is required by law to be furnished to the Registrar shall be recorded in the deeds registry, the manner and form in which information permitted by law to be furnished by the Registrar to the public shall be furnished and the manner and form in which the identity of persons shall be established;

   (j)   the conditions upon which conveyancers, surveyors and other persons may conduct any search in the deeds registry, and the precautions which shall be taken to ensure preservation of the records from damage by improper handling or otherwise;

   (k)   the conditions under which copies of deeds and other documents registered in the deeds registry may be issued for judicial purposes, or purposes of information or in substitution of deeds or other documents which have been lost, destroyed, defaced or damaged and the conditions under which extracts from registers or from any documents registered or filed in the deeds registry may be furnished;

   (l)   the manner and form in which consent shall be signified to any cancellation, cession, part payment, release or amendment of or other registrable transaction affecting any bond or other document registered in the deeds registry;

   (m)   the conditions under which a copy of a power of attorney may be accepted by the Registrar in lieu of the original;

   (n)   the forms of deeds which shall be used in circumstances not provided for in this Act;

   (o)   any matter which under this Act is required or permitted to be prescribed.

   (2) Any regulation made by the President in terms of subsection (1) shall be published in the Gazette at least one month before the date on which it is expressed to take effect.

   (3) In making any regulation under this section prescribing the fees and charges of conveyancers in connection with the preparation and passing of deeds, the President may prescribe separate fees for the preparation and the passing of deeds in the event of the deeds being prepared by one conveyancer and passed by another.

PART II
Registration (ss 12-18)

Registers (ss 12-13)

12.   Registers

   (1) The Registrar shall design, prepare, open and keep such personal, property and other registers as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this Act.

   (2) Any such register in which any debts secured by bonds are entered shall be deemed to be a continuation of the debt registers kept in the registry prior to the commencement of this Act, and any entries made therein shall have the same effect in law as they would have had if they had been made in the said debt registers.

13.   Continuation of existing registers

   Until such time as any new register has been prepared and opened under the provisions of section 12 the Registrar shall continue to keep the corresponding register in use in the registry immediately prior to the commencement of this Act, and to make therein the like entries as were customarily made therein prior to such date.

Deeds (ss 14-18)

14.   When registration takes place

   (1) Deeds executed or attested by the Registrar shall be deemed to be registered upon the affixing of the Registrar's signature thereto, and deeds, documents or powers of attorney lodged for registration shall be deemed to be registered when the deeds registry endorsement in respect of the registration thereof is signed:

   Provided that no such deed, document or power which is one of a batch of interdependent deeds, documents or powers of attorney intended for registration together, shall be deemed to be registered until all the deeds, documents or powers of attorney or the registration endorsements in respect thereof, as the case may be, have been signed by the Registrar.

   (2) If by inadvertence the Registrar's signature has not been affixed to a deed executed or attested by him, or to the registration endorsement in respect of the registration of a deed, document or power of attorney lodged for registration at the time at which the signature should have been affixed in the ordinary course, the Registrar may affix his signature thereto when the omission is discovered, and the deed, document or power of attorney shall thereupon be deemed to have been registered at the time aforesaid.

   (3) All endorsements or entries made on deeds, documents or powers of attorney or in registers, in connection with the registration of any deed, document or power of attorney, shall be deemed to have been effected simultaneously with the affixing of the signature of the Registrar thereto in respect of deeds executed or attested by the Registrar or with the signing of his registration endorsement in respect of deeds, documents or powers of attorney lodged for registration, although in fact they may have been made subsequent thereto.

15.   Deeds to follow sequence of their relative causes

   (1) Except as otherwise provided in this Act or in any other law or as directed by the court-

   (a)   transfers of land and cessions of real rights therein shall follow the sequence of the successive transactions in pursuance of which they are made, and if made in pursuance of testamentary disposition or intestate succession they shall follow the sequence in which the right to ownership or other real right in the land accrued to the persons successively becoming vested with such right;

   (b)   it shall not be lawful to depart from any such sequence in recording in the deeds registry any change in the ownership in such land or of such real right:

   Provided that-

   (i)   if the property has passed in terms of a will or through intestate succession from a deceased person to his descendants, and one or other of these descendants has died a minor and intestate and no exec

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