A total of 89 Pretoria families became the latest beneficiaries of their own homes when they received their long-awaited title deeds from MMC for human settlements Mandla Nkomo yesterday morning.
Patricia Buys, 66, from Eersterust, east of Pretoria, said she waited for more than 20 years for her title deed. All the while she was worried that she might be evicted from her home before receiving it.
“If I die now, I will die a happy person because I have my title deed in my hand, with my name on it. For the first time in all these years, I will be sleeping very peacefully,” Buys said with a huge smile on her face.
Leandri Bergman said it was a bitter-sweet moment when her name was called to receive her title deed.
“My mother died without having the opportunity to own a home and my sister burned to death in this same home so, today, I have mixed feelings.
“I am happy, but also very sad because it feels unfair that I receive the title deed which should have been given to my mother many years ago,” she said.
Her mother, Molly Bergman, died in 2012.
DA councillor Benjamin Lawrence said it was good to see the look on people’s faces as they received their title deeds.
“This is not the end. Today we have given 89 title deeds out, but there are a lot more title deeds to be handed out,” Lawrence said.
Nkomo said the residents of Eersterust had been waiting for a long time for their title deeds.
“Some have been waiting since 2001, which is quite a long time,” said Nkomo. “I think we need to change the mindset on how we do relocations, because you find people living in Eersterust do not want to move when there are housing opportunities in Nellmapius or Atteridgeville.
“But we want to integrate all the races and there is a piece of land in Garsfontein where we want to make a mixed development, where everybody can live together in harmony.
“There will be low-cost housing, social housing and rental stock.
“This area is currently an informal settlement called Plastic View and it is right in the middle of Garsfontein.”