On 16 January the lives of 117 families changed forever when they became home owners. Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer handed over the title deeds during a ceremony at the Stellenbosch Town hall. Many of the beneficiaries have been waiting for more than 20 years. The properties were part of municipal rental stock.
The beneficiaries, the oldest of whom is 87 years old, came from Kylemore, Cloetesville, Kayamandi and Franschhoek. The Municipality will continue to support the beneficiaries through Housing Consumer Education Programmes. For pensioners and qualifying beneficiaries indigent grants will be made available to address the costs of municipal services.
The handover of deeds is a long, tedious process and requires a lot of resources. The limited resources available to the municipality create a challenge and delay the process. For this reason the municipality has partnered with the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam initiative, assisted by the Reinet Foundation, to help speed up the process.
“In South Africa, the ownership of property is an emotional issue. That is why it is important for Stellenbosch Municipality to empower residents by giving them ownership of their homes. Owning a property gives people access to an asset which can help establish greater financial security. As Mayor, I have made the handing over of title deeds a priority. Giving people ownership of the homes they have lived in for many years, is important to eradicate the legacy left by the apartheid system,” said Mayor Van Deventer.
“This is an important programme for the Municipality because of the positive impact it has on our community. With the support of our private partners we will continue to process and hand over title deeds to beneficiaries. As Mayor, I want to remind the beneficiaries that they are now responsible for the care or their property and to ensure it grows in value they must care for it. May the ownership of a house be the start of a new story for the beneficiaries,” she concluded.