Title deed muddle puts family on the street

2016-12-13 07:39
A low cost house in Mfuleni is augmented by renewable energy. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A low cost house in Mfuleni is augmented by renewable energy. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - The Ntunguntwanas in Driftsand, Mfuleni, expect to be living on the streets after they enjoy their last Christmas in their home of 21 years.

The title deed holder came to inform the family that he had sold the house and the new owner wanted to move in this January.

Zikhona Ntunguntwana said the RDP house originally belonged to her late father, Donald Ntunguntwana, who died in 2012.

She said her father lived in Driftsand in 1995, when it was still an informal settlement. In 1999, he received the RDP house. House owners had to pay R250 for a title deed.

Unfortunately, her father was in the Eastern Cape at that time. He promised to pay the money when he returned, but the committee in charge would not wait for him. The house was officially given to Malibongwe Ntsomi, then a backyarder.

“When my father came back, he was told that the title deed of the house was given to someone else, but we continued living in this house,” said Ntunguntwana.

After her father’s death, Ntunguntwana went to the municipality offices in Mfuleni. After several visits, she was told the house had been registered under two names, and later that the house belonged to Ntsomi.

Ntsomi told GroundUp that had waited for the house since 1999. According to him, he received the house in 2000. Donald Ntunguntwana however had claimed he had lived on the plot before the house was built there and it was therefore rightfully his.

“The community leaders at the time said they were going to look into this matter, because the question is how did it happen that we both received the same house,” said Ntsomi.

He said he had been waiting for years for the community leaders to solve the matter.

He went to the housing department to apply for a house and was told that he had received one in 2000 and could not get another one.

“I’ve been communicating with the family since the incident and I gave them three months to leave, because I'm selling the house,” he said.

Ntsomi is selling the house for R110 000.

Zikhona Ntunguntwana is unemployed and cannot afford to buy it.

“I'm hurt and angry at the same time. This is my house that my father left us. Now, I'm going to find myself on the street with my child,” she said, struggling to hold back tears.

A former community leader, who wished to remain anonymous, said there were many mix-ups when houses were given to those who came to pay for title deeds.

Western Cape human settlements spokesperson Muneera Allie said the housing subsidy system showed that a subsidy was approved to Ntsomi. The deeds registry system confirmed that the property was transferred on June 22, 2000 only into the name of Ntsomi.

As the registered owner, Ntsomi was therefore entitled to sell the property to anyone without permission from the department.

“The housing subsidy system has no indication of an approval for a housing subsidy to Mr Donald Ntunguntwana,” Allie said.


Read more on:    cape town  |  housing

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