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A long time coming

Surayaville, and Fairliegh Flats residents still waiting for their title deeds, now have a glimmer of hope in the distance.

Residents of Surayaville and Fairleigh Flats met with local municipal officials and the Department of Human Settlements to address some of the housing concerns.

For years, the flat dwellers have been waiting for title deeds to their homes, and have become weary of the constant run-around given to them by the municipality.

In a bid to address these concerns, Portfolio Chairman for Human Settlements, Matthew Shunmugam, together with Newcastle Mayor, Afzul Rehman, and the Kwa-Zulu Natal MEC for Human Settlements, Ravi Pillay, met with concerned residents.

Cllr Shunmugam explained, “We know that the people are waiting, and we are trying to sort out the issues; we have been waiting for funding from the provincial Department of Human Settlements to renovate the flats before handing over the title deeds, because these funds come from the provincial subsidies, and not municipal funding.”

Although this funding was not from the municipal coffers, the municipality was serious about service delivery, and was working hard to implement other housing schemes to ensure that all Newcastle residents could be catered for, said Cllr Rehman.

Mr Pillay said most of the arrangements regarding the refurbishment of the flats, and the issuing of title deeds had been taken care of.

“This is real, this is not just hot air! On May 8, the submission for the refurbishment will pass through the Housing Evaluation and Appraisal Committee (HEAC), and once approved, the funds for the project will be made available to the community,” explained Mr Pillay.

He advised that once the funds had been made available for the refurbishment process, it should be ensured everyone benefited.

Many community members were desperate to obtain the title deeds to their homes, and the MEC agreed his department would try to make special provision for them to receive their title deeds before their homes had been refurbished.

“The lay-out of the area is very good. With good management and responsible decisions by the committee who will be placed in charge of the refurbishment monies, we can really improve the area,” concluded Mr Pillay.

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