• The Kaplan Team

THOUGHT OF THE WEEK Electronic signatures and deeds registration

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Recently the first ever property transfer transaction was registered in a deeds office in South Africa where the seller’s Power of Attorney to Pass Transfer was signed with an advanced electronic signature (AES).


What is an AES? It is a special ‘electronic’ signature (a scanned image of a handwritten signature, or ‘digital’ signature) which, in certain instances, may replace the traditional pen and ink manner to sign documents. In order to use such a signature on a document, one first has to have the AES accredited with an accreditation authority in South Africa.


Where a law specifically requires signature before a document will be considered legally valid, but does not specify that the signature must be in writing, the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECTA) allows that an AES may be used. On the other hand, where a law requires a written signature, an AES will not suffice (eg, the assignment of copyright in terms of the Copyright Act, which that Act requires to be in writing).


Remember that agreements concluded in terms of the Alienation of Land Act are specifically excluded from ECTA and must therefore still be concluded by parties appending their written signatures thereto.


Please feel free to contact our professionals for assistance.


7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

DISCLAIMER:

This article is not intended to constitute legal advice and is produced for information purposes only and to provide a general understanding of the legal position relating to the topic. It is recommended that advice relating to the specific circumstances of your situation be sought from our attorneys before acting upon the content of this article. This article was written at a particular point in time and accordingly may not always reflect the most recent legal developments, if any, applicable to the relevant topic. Kaplan Blumberg and its partners and/or employees, are not responsible for any consequences which may follow upon any decision taken to act upon the information provided in this article.