Elderly residents welcome title deed handover

MEC of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, hands out a title deed to Jacob Thomas.

For the past 31 years, Roseline Makinana, had fears that at any stage in her life she might lose her house as she does not have a title deed.

But the 58-year-old Makhaya resident was on cloud nine when she was among a group of residents in Khayelitsha who received their title deeds from the MEC of Human Settlements, Tertuis Simmers, who handed over 18 title deeds to deserving recipients in Khayelitsha at Isivivana Centre.

There was much joy as the residents received their title deeds but they were quickly cautioned to get their wills in order to prevent family feuds should the homeowner die.

Ms Makinana said she moved to the area in 1989 from her home in Gugulethu with the hope to build a home for her own little family.

When she bought the house, she was required to put down a deposit of R500 which was a huge amount back in the day and she was required to pay a monthly house instalment of R250.

However, she said she stopped paying the monthly bond due to life challenges.

Ms Makinana said for all these years she had fears that she might lose her home and her children would have no place to call home.

But today, she said she is crying tears of joy and excitement and should anything happen to her, she knows that her children will have a place to call home.

“I now have a sense of real ownership and this is an asset to me.

“I have always had fears that if I lose this house what would I do because I do not have papers that states that this is my house.

“I will die with peace of mind knowing that this house belongs to me and my children. I have no words to express my gratitude. This has been a long time coming,” she said.

Mr Simmers said the title deed handover was made possible through the Title Deed Restoration Grant (TDRG) and forms part of the departments strategic goal to prioritise the elderly for security of tenure in the Western Cape.

He said the handover shows the department’s continued commitment to restoring people’s dignity.

“The handover ensured that 18 elderly residents could for the first time in their lives, call themselves fully-fledged, legal homeowners.

“It was a privilege to share this occasion with our beneficiaries.

“Knowing they have full ownership of their homes, gives our people a sense of security and pride.

“We will continue striving towards establishing an enabling environment, so that we are better placed to grant beneficiaries security of tenure and make more residents legal homeowners by handing over these title deeds,” said Mr Simmers.

He said since the beginning of 2020 they have handed over close to 250 title deeds and had it not been for the interruption of the Covid-19 pandemic, this number would be higher.

He said he has given his officials the instruction to ensure that more title deed handovers occur, as it is critical that they continue assisting more residents become full and legal homeowners, particularly since this is the final year where the TDRG is guaranteed.

Another beneficiary, Jeffrey Makhasi, said he was excited that finally he has received his title deed. He said now he has peace of mind knowing that the house belongs to them.

Mr Makhasi said he had been waiting for this day for years.