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Protests as Heideveld resident receive title deeds

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About 100 property owners from the Heideveld housing development received their title deeds from the City of Cape Town’s Transport and Urban Development Authority on Thursday. This follows yesterday’s handover of 60 title deeds to property owners from Kleinvlei and last week’s 170 title deeds that were handed over to beneficiaries of the Roosendal housing development in Delft. Among the property owners who received their title deeds is pensioner Latiefa Davids, 77, who previously lived in a rental unit.

“I am enjoying my new home and I am happy with my neighbours. I am grateful to be living here. We have a good neighbourhood watch. I am able to open my heart and my house to those who are less fortunate,” said Mrs Davids.

Resident Latiefa Davids

Property owner Mentoor Theron (64) from Kleinvlei was on the housing database for 26 years. He previously lived in backyards in areas such as Eerste River, Macassar and Stellenbosch.

“When I received my house, I decided to name it “Genade dal” because I believe that I received my house by grace. I did not lose hope so I would like to encourage others who are still on the housing database to have faith and keep praying until they get their houses,” said Mr Theron.

Last year the City’s Organisational Development and Transformation Plan was adopted by Council to improve how the administration works, with a focus on transit-oriented development. These housing developments are accessible as they are situated along public transport corridors.

“The handing over of title deeds is worth celebrating as some of our most vulnerable residents are being empowered as first-time property owners. These title deeds are also more than just a piece of paper, but an example of the City’s commitment to redressing the inequality of the Apartheid past – a period where people were denied ownership of property,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron.

Some of the recipients

“We encourage the owners to look after their properties and to make responsible decisions regarding their homes as these houses are valuable financial assets, which will bring them a step closer to economic freedom.”

But some recipients protested outside refusing to accept their title deeds. Some residents expressed their anger with the quality of the homes, while others made claims of corruption.

Community member Moses Makhogiso bemoaned the sub-standard workmanship on the homes.

“I received a house which is not painted inside. My toilet seat is broken and they never came to fix it. They tell you that someone is coming to repair it, and no comes…I’m still waiting.”

Protestors outside the handing over of the title deeds

One resident Muneera Joseph says that she is only allocated 30L water per day which is less than their amount the City allows due to restrictions.

“If the water is finished then we have no water. Then we must wait until the next day. They come here, read our metres, then they want to bill us. For what?”

Heideveld ward councillor Anthony Moses dispelled the protests as a political campaign.

“Part of these protesters is community members who have lost during the local government elections. Some of them are home owners trying to further their political career. There are four groups contesting against other each,” he said.

“My office is open for residents to come in and lodge their complaints. I will phone the contractor immediately, if there are problems.” VOC


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