The Constitutional Court reaffirmed that a debt becomes due when it is immediately claimable or recoverable. Where the purchase price was not receivable under the Alienation of Land Act 1981 until the contract was recorded at the Deeds Office, prescription did not start to run until the recording of the contract took place.
It is only after a debt becomes due that the debtor has an obligation to make payment or perform and the creditor acquires the right to demand performance or payment. This date often coincides with the date on which the debt arose but this is not necessarily always so.
Where there is no additional requirement, the debt becomes due and payable automatically on conclusion of an agreement subject to the terms of that agreement or the possible need for the debt to be demanded in order to become due.
In the case of Amardien & Others v Registrar of Deeds & Others, the sellers took ten years to record the agreements after the purchasers moved in. Only thereafter could the seller demand payment.