MORE than 200 title deeds were handed over to owners of government-subsidised houses, who have received proof of property ownership for the first time. The beneficiaries were predominantly elderly people in the Walmer Gqeberha area, who had lived a life of rental and shacks and had never owned a property.The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality mayoral committee member for human settlements, Andile Mfunda, said that more title deeds would be handed over in other areas of the metro. “The title deed programme is one of the important programmes and close to my heart. For so many years our parents have been subjected to inhumane conditions where they have been moving from shack to shack or in rental houses,” Mfunda said.One of the residents who has received a title deed, Buluvwe Wilson Mkontwana, said that he had waited a very long time to be able to own a house.“I have lived my whole life renting a property and never owned my own property before. I am very satisfied and grateful,” said Mkontwana. Mfunda also handed over a title deed to Tonie Tjantjies at his house in Walmer Township. Tjantjies could not hold back his tears when he received his title deed. “I could not have asked for a more suitable 90th birthday than this one. This title deed I have received today is truly and legally mine. Even when my last day comes, I will rest in peace knowing that my dignity has been restored,” said Tjantjies. According to Mfunda, the programme will not only guarantee ownership, but also go a long way in bringing dignity to the elderly and secure a future for the family. “This is one programme that talks to the fibre of our society, dignity and respect.“We will accelerate these handovers, so that by Christmas people can proudly say that they are legally spending their Christmas in their houses,” Mfunda added.