The Gauteng department of human settlements’ programme of action yesterday handed over 300 title deeds to elderly residents in Soshanguve and Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria. They had been on the waiting list since early 1994.
Member of the executive council (MEC) for human settlements Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa said the department seeks to address the allocation where the criteria places the elderly at the top of the housing demand database.
“In terms of priority, the elderly and those who applied for government housing as early as 1994-1996 are number one. They are followed by people living with disabilities, child-headed families and military veterans,” he said.
He said after they had taken care of this group of people will the department look at housing for the rest of the people on the housing list.
“A title deed is very important document as it is about home ownership and security of tenure. We give title deeds to the people and restore their dignity through security of tenure,” he said.
While people received their title deeds for the first time since the African National Congress took power in 1994, Moiloa said: “We believe our people have been waiting far too long for the concept of ownership.”
Beneficiaries were urged to protect their title deeds as “it is the only legal document that is proof that you’re a home owner and you must protect it as it also gives you the right to leave the house as inheritance for your children when you pass on”.
Moiloa said a title deed and ownership also came with the responsibility of building and supporting the local municipality by registering and being active ratepayers for the municipal services beneficiaries will be receiving.
The title deeds distribution campaign was officially launched last year by the then MEC of human settlements and cooperative governance and traditional affairs.