BOREHOLES –  Are compliance certificates required when you transfer property?

The answer is a qualified yes and no. Generally it depends on the requirements of the local authority in which the property with the borehole is situated.

The City of Cape Town municipality requires property owners who have a borehole or wellpoint on their property, to register it with the City. This is done for environmental research and monitoring purposes only and not for billing.  This is a registration obligation and differs from the gas installation, electrical installation, electric fence and other compliance certificate requirements usually contained in deeds of sale of immovable property in order to comply with national legislation.

To register an existing wellpoint or borehole, send an email to and include (i) your name and contact details; (ii) the address and erf number of the property; (iii) your City of Cape Town account number; and (iv) confirm whether you are registering a wellpoint or borehole.

If you intend sinking a new borehole or wellpoint, you must apply to the City of

Cape Town at least 14 days beforehand. If permission is granted and the wellpoint or borehole sunk, you must register it with the municipality thereafter.

Parties can agree to include a provision in a sale agreement requiring proof that this registration has taken place, should they wish. However, the City of Cape Town Water Bylaw 2010 does not place an obligation on an owner to provide such a certificate on change of ownership, or to hand a certificate to the municipality or purchaser.

Contact Martin Sheard on for assistance with all your property law matters.

021 673 4700

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