Pretoria - Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile handed out 299 title deeds to residents of Hammanskraal West on Tuesday - but this was just a drop in the ocean taking into consideration that hundreds others still have no stands.
The title deeds were for properties in Hammanskraal West, much to the annoyance of their neighbours in Section F.
Andries Molokomme, 49, of Section F, described the gesture as another ANC stint to advance political gains ahead of the August 3 polls.
Molokomme said he was among those who applied for title deeds in 2014 and had never received any acknowledgement of the application or been invited to a meeting with housing officials at the City of Tshwane or provincial government.
Calvin Mudau, also from Section F, echoed the same sentiments and said he wondered if their applications were ever processed.
“I am 60 years old and just saw a young man my son’s age receive a title deed. We appreciate the fact that our children are getting their own properties, but what about us?
“We are the generation that brought the ANC into power, but now they seem to have forgotten about us.”
Residents who did not receive title deeds said they were not invited to key meetings where issues such as housing were discussed. They accused outgoing mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa of taking only the plight of “his own people” into consideration.
Thomas Aphane, 54, said Section F was the oldest informal settlement in the area, established in 1991. It was officially recognised in 2000.
“The settlement has more than 200 people with no title deeds; some of us have been here since 1999 and nothing has ever been done for us,” he said.
For Tebogo Kgoedi, 28, the handing over of title deeds was also a cheap political strategy to bribe the people of Hammanskraal into voting for the ANC. “After the elections, no politician will be seen around here,” she said.
But it was not all doom and gloom, as others such as Johannah Matjeke were elated after receiving their title deeds.
“I don’t care if the ANC does this for votes; all I care about is that I have a house and a title deed for my family of eight. I had struggled to get it since 2000.”
Mashatile, accompanied by Ramokgopa, said people might label the issuing of title deeds as a political stint to gain voters’ confidence, but no individual should dictate when the government delivered services to the people.