Two decades-old promise fulfilled as widow gets home ownership

2015-08-12 11:52
Shivakami Manikam (87) received the title deeds to the home that her late husband promised her 20 years ago.

Shivakami Manikam (87) received the title deeds to the home that her late husband promised her 20 years ago. (Siyabonga Sigwebela)

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Pietermaritzburg - A 20-year-old promise made by a husband to his wife was finally fulfilled on Tuesday night when the Human Settlements Department handed her the title deeds to her house.

In an interview with the department’s spokesperson Thesan Moodley, 87-year-old Shivakami Manikam said her late husband had made a promise to her on Mother’s Day 20 years ago that one day she would own their home.

“Mrs Manikam relies on her state grant to fulfil her daily needs, and sees the visit by the MEC as ‘a message from heaven’,” said Moodley.

He said she had described to him how Manikam and her husband had moved around a lot as her husband was a migrant worker.

“He told me 20 years ago that we will stop moving and this will be our own home,” she said to Moodley during the interview.

Manikam, along with over 100 other Copesville residents, received the title deeds of their homes on Tuesday night at a ­ceremony held by the KwaZulu-Natal Human Settlements Department in Truro Hall, Northdale.

A statement released by the department, said 103 Copesville residents were “given their rightful ownership of their houses” in a scheme that will see the title deeds of government houses handed over to the residents over the next five years.

The Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme (EEDBS) looks to promote home ownership among tenants of state-financed homes and other buildings.

Human Settlements spokesperson Mbulelo Baloyi said the department hoped to speed up the opening of the formal property market in areas like Copesville through the scheme.

“The hand-over ceremony could not have come at a better time as the country at large is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter.

“Among its clauses is one pledging that a democratic state will ensure that there shall be houses, security and comfort for all.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  housing  |  good news

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