Martha Mfiki, 65, said if she dies, she will do so peacefully knowing that her children will inherit her home now that she has a title deed.
At a gathering held in Khayelitsha last Wednesday, Ms Mfiki was one of 19 people who received their title deeds from the City of Cape Town.
“I am happy to finally have something that is mine at the age of 65. I had given up but now I am here to receive what I have given up. Should I die tomorrow, my children will have a safe place,” she said.
The mayor of Cape Town, Geordin Hill-Lewis, Mayco member for human settlements, Malusi Booi, chairperson of the human settlements portfolio committee, Albert Ntsodo, and Ward 94 councillor Xolisa Peter handed title deeds to beneficiaries who have finally became the legal owners of their homes.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Hill-Lewis called on the beneficiaries to prevent the illegal sale of government subsidised homes and said the City of Cape Town was trying its best to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
“We are not just handing over title deeds but breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty. This is a life-changer for children and grandchildren. The number one hurdle in fighting the housing backlog is people selling houses,” he said.
He said title deeds provided formal ownership to residents and unlocked economic opportunities for future generations – and since 2013/14 the City had handed over more than 12 250 title deeds to beneficiaries.
“The City is committed to ensuring that even the most vulnerable Capetonians can access the property market and live with the dignity afforded by formal property ownership.
“Facilitating people’s ownership of real assets not only breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty, but offers them both financial and physical security. In line with our commitment to dignity, we believe that no Capetonian should be a permanent tenant of the state. We are therefore speeding up our title deed handover programme. Over the coming months, the City will be handing over a significant number of title deeds to additional beneficiaries,” said Mr Hill-Lewis.
Mr Booi said the title deed handover programme was an ongoing one and that they looked forward to handing over many more title deeds to qualifying beneficiaries across the metro.
“We also remind residents who are residing in older City housing projects to approach us so that we may also assist them with their title deeds. Historic property transfers will continue to be prioritised and we look forward to assisting many more residents over the coming months,” he said.
Ms Peter said she was happy that people were getting their title deeds, but called on the City to build more houses on open fields before land invaders built shacks on them.
Another beneficiary, Faith Basson, 55, said after 15 years of waiting, “by God’s grace, I received it today”.
“t was not easy to get it but God chose me and others. Those who are waiting should wait because God’s hand is coming,” she said.