Edward Machakatini with his house title deed after waiting for 59 years. Picture: Thembelihle Mkhonza/ANA

Johannesburg - "My life has changed, from now on I know that no one will ever come and claim this house as theirs, since it belongs to me."

With these words, Edward Machakatini on Thursday accepted the title deed for the Soweto home in which he has lived for decades from Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.

Mashaba, and MMC for Housing Meshack Van Wyk officially handed 488 title deeds to beneficiaries in Soweto.

“I am so privileged to have this title deed and I'm so excited about having it after a long period of time. You know that you're secured, no crooks can rob you of the house if you have the title deed,” said Machakatini with a smile on his face.

He said his family would no longer live in fear that someone would claim their house in Chawelo, Soweto. He has lived there for the past 59 years.

Mashaba said: “Home ownership empowers our residents by giving them and their families the dignity of a place to call home.”

He said the title deed was not just a piece of paper but brought security.

“If you have this piece of paper no one can take your house from you, [not] even the government,” said Mashaba.

Millicent Maphango, another resident who has been waiting for a title deed for her family home for decades, said: “I am very happy today to receive my parents’ titled deed. I never thought this day would come and I'm sure my parents, where they are, their souls will rest in peace.”

African News Agency (ANA)