DIGNITY was restored to 400 community members of Franklin outside Kokstad when they received title deeds for the first time, after living in their RDP houses without them. The title deeds were handed over by President Cyril Ramaphosa at a special event in Franklin Sport Field on Wednesday, October 3.One of the beneficiaries and a community member, Nomathamsanqa Maqhashalala (65) said she grew up in the farming area of Franklin and she lived in a shack until she was given an RDP house a few years ago.She thanked government for the title deed, saying her life will never be the same. Lucia Makhaya (60) and Celina Mtolo (63) also received their title deeds from Ramaphosa and said: “Thank you for the ownership of the houses.” Most community members who live in Franklin work in farms. “This event is significant because it forms part of the work we are doing together to restore the dignity of South African people. Since 1994, we have been working to correct this historical injustice by providing houses to the poor, undertaking land restitution and providing basic services like water and electricity,” said Ramaphosa at the event, adding that as part of the programme, government will continue giving communities the opportunity to own their homes. “Home ownership can contribute to improve educational outcomes and reduce household poverty. Families are more secure and communities are more stable,” he said.Earlier in the day, he officially opened the Department of Home Affairs local offices at 12 Main Street in Kokstad. The office will render services like the provision of the identity books, birth certificates, passports and other services.Ramaphosa asked communities to take care of government resources and work with SAPS to end crime and lawlessness. Other officials attending the event included the Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba, KwaZulu-Natal MEC of Economic Development and Tourism Sihle Zikalala, and MEC of Health Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo.Local mayors and councillors also attended the event. “Government will announce on radios and newspapers inviting communities to collect title deeds at allocated places,” said Minister of Human Settlements Nomaindia Mfeketo at the event. Ramaphosa handed over a wheelchair to Fundani Mdledle (42) of Franklin. The wheelchair was donated by the Greater Kokstad Municipality.