RESIDENTS of Thornhill, Hankey and KwaNomzamo are among 8 000 beneficiaries from across the Eastern Cape who will receive title deeds for their RDP houses this year.Human Settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August got the ball rolling at Thornhill on Friday when the first of 310 beneficiaries from the town received their title deeds.The MEC visited three elderly beneficiaries at their homes to deliver their title deeds personally before addressing a public gathering at the community hall. She was accompanied by Kouga Executive Mayor Daphne Kettledas, Infrastructure Portfolio Councillor Patrick Kota and Ward Councillor Bulelwa Koliti.The MEC stressed the importance of beneficiaries keeping their title deeds safe.“A title deed is a very important document. Hide it where no-one can find it. Do not allow anyone to take it from you to take out a loan if you are not 100% certain that they will pay the money back. If you do, you could lose your home,” she warned.She further encouraged housing beneficiaries to let the municipality’s Human Settlements section know who they would like to leave their houses to should they pass away.“Go to the municipality and make proper arrangements for your house should anything happen to you. In this way, you can help your family avoid ugly family fights and legal battles,” she advised.Andrew (75) and Eva (73) Adams, who celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in September, were among the beneficiaries visited by the MEC on Friday.“We are so grateful to our government for giving us this house. We have spent many happy years here. It has made our retirement so much easier,” Mr Adams said.According to the Department of Human Settlements, a further 660 title deeds for Hankey and 110 for KwaNomzamo are set to be handed over this year. “The Department is prioritising the issuing of title deeds so that beneficiaries can legally own their properties, particularly previously disadvantaged families who were deprived of the right of home ownership by the apartheid regime,” the MEC said.