The Eastern Cape Department of Human Settlements says it will hand over 7 000 title deeds to the rightful beneficiaries of government’s low cost subsidy programme by March 2016.
The department on Monday said it was prioritising issuing the title deeds so beneficiaries can legally own their properties, particularly previously disadvantaged families who were deprived the right of home ownership by the apartheid regime.
In 2014, Human Settlements MEC Helen Sauls-August gave title deeds to beneficiaries in Indwe and Barkley East. The roll out of the issuing of title deeds will continue before the financial year ends in March 2016.
“This financial year, the issuing of title deeds was lifted as a priority in the Policy and Budget Vote Speech (2015/16). Between April and September last year, 2 488 title deeds were issued to beneficiaries across the province from a target of 7 000.
“The Title Deeds Programme is, however, delayed by other factors such as illegal occupation of completed houses by other people or unclaimed houses by beneficiaries,” said the department.
Before title deeds are issued to beneficiaries, the department has to conduct a verification process to ensure that title deeds are given to the correct beneficiaries.
With a title deed, unscrupulous individuals can also be prevented from selling government subsidies, thus robbing people of their homes. Many beneficiaries have lost their homes due to the unavailability of a title deed that confirms their home ownership.
MEC Sauls-August has asked beneficiaries to be patient as the process of handing over title deeds continues.
“We appeal to the beneficiaries to exercise patience as the department needs to verify and ensure that the rightful beneficiaries (approved on the housing subsidy system) are the actual occupants of the houses to safeguard affirming homeownership to an incorrect beneficiary. Correct beneficiaries will receive their title deeds from government,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za