IFC Partners with South African Municipalities to Speed and Simplify Property Registration

Local news, 03.09.2019

Durban, South Africa, September 3, 2019 – IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today partnered with two municipalities in South Africa’s Kwazulu-Natal Province to speed and simplify the process of registering low-cost housing to help thousands more easily gain title deeds to their properties, formalizing their legal ownership.

Although South Africa has built more than 4.5 million low-cost houses since 1994, few homeowners have secured legal titles. The lack of clarity of ownership, weak property registration systems, and the expensive and complex property transfer system have discouraged many South Africans from formalizing land transactions, creating problems for owners selling properties or using them as collateral for loans.

IFC will help the Mandeni and KwaDukuza municipalities in iLembe District establish efficient systems to register low-cost properties and fast track the issue of tittle deeds to owners of government-funded social houses, known as Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) houses.

IFC Regional Director for Southern Africa, Kevin Njiraini, said, “Land titling is a major constraint to building a more inclusive society in South Africa. IFC will work with partners to identify innovative solutions that ease the registration and transfer of property, and unblock bottlenecks slowing issuance of title deeds.” 

The program will be implemented as part of the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs’ (SECO’s) Vuthela Program, which provides management and administrative support to the KwaDukuza and Mandeni municipalities, and the World Bank Group’s (WBG’s) Private Sector Competitiveness Program, which is being implemented with SECO to strengthen South Africa’s business environment.

Ms. Franziska Spörri, Head of SECO’s Economic Development and Cooperation Office in Tshwane, said, “Switzerland is honored to be part of this process through our partnership with the KwaDukuza and Mandeni municipalities and the Department of Human Settlements. This program will provide an innovative solution for the provision of title deeds, which will unlock value for homeowners.”

Mr. Mdu Zungu, Acting Head of Department of Human Settlements of KwaZulu-Natal, said “It is important to streamline registration transactions of low-cost properties in low-income areas. Many South Africans, especially those living in informal areas, are disadvantaged because they do not possess land and title deeds, which limits the value of their properties.”

The WBG Doing Business Report ranks South Africa 106 out of 190 countries on property registration, its position weighed by high transaction costs, lengthy procedures, and weak land administration. 

About IFC

IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2019, we delivered more than $19 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit www.ifc.org

About SECO

The State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) is the federal government of Switzerland`s centre of excellence for all core issues relating to economic and labour market policy. Its aim is to contribute to sustained economic growth, high employment and fair working conditions, by creating the necessary regulatory, economic and foreign policy framework. SECO

About the DHS of KwaZulu-Natal

The mission of the (DHS) of KwaZulu Natal is to deliver suitably located housing opportunities and security of tenure over the next five years through collaborative partnership, legislative planning processes and empowerment of women in construction. DHS of KwaZulu-Natal