Moves are under way to modernise South Africa's cumbersome and paper-driven property transaction process, in an attempt to eliminate fraud and ensure the immediate transfer of money to a seller when the buyer obtains ownership of a property at the Deeds Office. Horror stories abound of consumers losing money due to conveyancing errors and conveyancers defrauding property buyers who have paid deposits. South Africa has a sound property registration system, in that it provides certainty of ownership, but the process is outdated and complicated, says Renier Nel, the director of Nel Attorneys in Gauteng. Willie Stoman, CEO of the new Property Payment Exchange of South Africa, says that last year R161-million worth of claims were lodged with the Attorneys Fidelity Fund due to mistakes or misconduct during the conveyancing process. Furthermore, electronic fraud is on the rise, and an increase in claims can be expected in the current year, he says. Protecting all parties Pexsa is a private...

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