A survey to assess perceptions on the value of examining survey records within the Surveyor-General(s) Office(s).
The examination of survey diagrams and records submitted by Professional Land Surveyor(s), has been the responsibility of the Surveyor-General(s) Office(s) in South Africa since the passing of the Land Survey Act 9 of 1927 and its successor, the Land Survey Act 8 of 1997. As it stands Professional Land Surveyor(s), registered with the South African Institute of Professional and Technical Surveyors, are the only persons authorised to place and replace cadastral boundaries. Together with the Surveyor-General(s) Office(s), they ensure the integrity of our land tenure system. This research investigated the perceptions of the Professional Land Surveyor(s) and the examiners, as to whether this examination process is necessary to ensure the integrity of the land tenure system, or whether it is a mere hindrance to the registration of land within the Deeds Office(s). A qualitative research approach was undertaken whereby a questionnaire was developed and distributed to all registered Professional Land Surveyor(s) operating in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition, semi-structured interviews were performed at the offices of the Surveyor-General with the staff involved with the examination process. It was established that the examination, although perceived as a delay in the registration of property, is vital and if compromised there is a distinct risk of losing the security and integrity that presently exist within the cadastral system. It would appear that the integrity of our cadastral system is not found solely in the professional land surveyor or the examination section, but rather that the combined efforts of the two parties provides an end product that is accurate, correct and ensures that the integrity of the cadastre system is maintained.