A substantial advantage of owning property in a sectional title scheme, in contrast to free-hold property where everything belongs to the owner, is that ownership of everything other than the your personal section is shared ownership. The title deeds usually reads something to the effect of:
A unit consists of: (a) ...; and (b) an undivided share in the common property apportioned to the said section in accordance with the participation quota as endorsed on the said section plan.
This reality is possibly the biggest problem of sectional title ownership, in that owners appear to perceive that some entity other than themselves are responsible. This 'b' part of the title deed encompass membership of the body corporate of the scheme. The Sectional Titles Act (STA), No 95 of 1986, §36(1), as well as the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act, No 8 of 2011—that would amend section 36 of the STA—§2(1) reads:
With effect from the date on which any person other than the developer becomes an owner of a unit in a scheme, there shall be deemed to be established for that scheme a body corporate of which the developer and such person are members, and any person who thereafter becomes an owner of a unit in that scheme is a member of that body corporate.
This is an important issue that Andrew Buttress fails to address in his message to the Roodepoort Record (Download Is_threre_a_loophole_in_the_law-loss_of_financial_control_Rdp_Record_22July2011). The abovementioned acts outline the responsibilities of the body corporate, which is elaborated upon in the prescribed management rules (PMRs). It is important to note that a body corporate may make use of the services of a managing agent, but is not obliged to, they owners may self administer. PMR 46 outlines what the appointment, powers and duties of a managing agent (MA) should entail. In my opinion MA is a misnomer, it should be administrative agent.
The biggest 'loophole' in sectional title is owner apathy. There are many checks and balances in place to preserve the rights of owners, but few owners show any real interest. What Constantia Sectional Title Management did is criminal, but it does not absolve the trustees and owners of schemes affected from their responsibility.