The house next door to us in our village is empty. So is the property next to that, the one actually on the river, and often in the river when the water rises. Together, I reckon they’re worth north of R10m.

They’re empty because they’ve been sold and the owners have left but the new owners haven’t arrived. And the new owners not arriving isn’t because the removals companies are still in lockdown, though they inexplicably are. It’s because the transfers of these two properties, along with tens of thousands of others, have piled up in deeds offices around the country and have not been processed...

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