The mood was electric in Mfuleni when 35 residents received the title deeds to their houses.
The elated residents said after 15 years of fighting over the ownership of their houses they have finally been handed their title deeds.
When Mayco member for Human Settlements Malusi Booi handed over the title deeds, the beneficiaries, became first time, legal and fully-fledged property owners..
Gladys Bikitsha said she is grateful that she now owns the property.
“I have been patiently waiting and today I am here to receive this good news. When I was called to come here I hesitated because I was not sure why I came here. They were not clear as to why I must come here today. But I had to come and I received this piece of paper that allows me to own my property. This is a huge day for me. I am truly grateful to God and to the City officials,” she said
Thembinkosi and Mpho Mlotha who also received the title deed to their property were filled with emotions and struggled to hide their happiness.
“It is not the time to complain now. But I can say we’ve been waiting for this document. It is difficult to express how happy and thankful we are. Truth be told, this is the highlight in our lives. We now have a title deed, with our name on it, proof that the house belongs to us. Our dream has been fulfilled,”
Mr Booi, however, warned the residents against selling their properties – and encouraged them to insure their homes.
“This is your house now. Whatever happened to it will need your attention. The best thing is to take insurance so that whatever happened to it, you have a cover. We are out of it now,” he advised.
The Free Market Foundation’s Ikhaya Lam helped the residents to apply for their title deeds.
Themba Nolutshungu from Ikhaya Lam said the houses now could not be taken away from the residents.
“I feel so good for you,” he told the residents.
“Please do not sell your house. Don’t be tempted. Please draw up a will from now onwards. We all know that death has no date and time. You do not want to see your children fighting over your house when you are no more,” he advised.
The City said it would soon be back in Mfuleni to hand over more title deeds to their owners.