By Prof. Graham Paddock

When a sectional title owner or a proxy casts a vote for a particular sectional title unit, the value of that vote is determined either by the unit’s allocated participation quota—shown on the schedule attached to the sectional plan—or as determined by an approved body corporate rule that modifies that value. A body corporate’s ordinary resolutions are approved or rejected based on the value of the votes cast for and against the proposal. In calculating the result, the number of votes cast is not relevant.

However, managing agents and trustees must count votes for and against special resolutions and the votes that must be available to establish the quorum for a meeting to consider a unanimous resolution in value and in number.

To be approved, a special resolution must be supported by 75% of the value and the number of the votes available at the meeting. There must be 80% of the value and the number of all the votes present or represented before a meeting can proceed to consider a unanimous resolution. In both cases, the minimum value and the minimum number of votes must be achieved.

So how do you count the number of votes when a unit is owned in shares by more than one person?

Section 6(7) of the Sectional Titles Schemes Management Act of 2011 provides:

“When votes are calculated in number, each member has one vote.” 

And prescribed management rule 20(7) made under the regulations to the above Act provides:

“When two or more persons are entitled to exercise one vote jointly, that vote may be exercised only by one person, who may or may not be one of them, jointly appointed by them as their proxy.”

The term ‘each member’ in section 6(7) must be interpreted to include all persons who are the registered co-owners of a particular unit. The co-owners can only exercise their vote by jointly appointing a single person as a proxy. When their proxy casts that vote, it is counted as one vote in number, irrespective of how many co-owners are represented.

If, after making your enquiries, you need a professional opinion on any issue or assistance with making an application to CSOS to have the structure removed or legalised, please send a brief to

Graham Paddock is a specialist community schemes attorney, notary and conveyancer. He has been advising clients and teaching students for over 40 years, and was an adjunct professor at UCT for 10 years.

Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 17, Issue 11.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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