Home is where the heart is

2019-09-24 06:01
The recipients of historical title deeds, joined by some of the City’s officials.

The recipients of historical title deeds, joined by some of the City’s officials.

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A dream came true for 40 elderly residents who were handed their historical title deeds at the Athlone stadium on Monday 16 September.

Some of them have been waiting for more than 20 years. The recipients hail from areas such as Wallacedene, Langa, Atlantis, Joe Slovo, Kleinvlei, Wesbank and Mfuleni.

One of the elated recipients was 79-year-old Paul Oostenhuizen, a resident from Beacon Valley in Mitchell’s Plain.

The acting Mayco member for human settlements, Felicity Purchase said the City is making every effort to expedite the handing over of title deeds.

“There are various challenges which delay the handover of historical title deeds,” said Purchase.

“These houses were handed over to beneficiaries as far back as 20 years ago, during a previous administration, where at the time, the priority was the construction. The performance targets did not include the delivery of the actual legal transfers.”

She added delays can be due to the misalignment of erf numbers to the housing subsidy system, the fact that some of the beneficiaries are difficult to trace; and determining lawful and illegal occupation of houses can also provide problems along the way.

Mayco member for urban management, Grant Twigg said the event was the City’s way of empowering residents who were previously denied access to property ownership.

“The handing over of title deeds allows homeowners to live in dignity in a home that they can call their own. It is an investment that will grow in value that becomes an asset for the homeowners and their loved ones,” he said.

He added there is no greater pride than taking care of a house that a person can call their own and turn it into a home.

Twigg added the issue of housing and the well-being of senior citizens is of utmost importance to the City.

“Today, many families still live as tenants or without ownership rights in houses they have lived in for generations.

“Handing over the title deeds is a way in which the City is able to rectify the injustices of the past,” he said.

He added that service delivery is about improving the lives of people and adding value to their lives. According to him, the handing of title deeds is part of the City’s commitment to building a caring city.

“Owning a home for many residents is something that they only dreamed of. We are pleased to be part of turning the dream into a reality,” he said.

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