Pretoria - Resident Koko Ncha, 74, did not believe the day had come for her to get a certificate proving that she had owned her house for over four decades.
“I would not know why people would be around the area because I’ve had people knocking on my door, telling me it was their house.
“They came one by one, but I could not give in to them because I knew it was my house. Yes, I would be worried but I knew one day it would be well.
“I have my paper and can now die knowing I have my house and my family has a home,” Ncha said.
Maggie Rametsi, 70, another beneficiary, said since her husband’s death in 2006 she had been ready to leave her home because she didn’t know whether she belonged at a house that was supposedly under her name.
“I waited until it happened today before I could tell my children … I could not believe it. Eventually when I told them they were over the moon.
“God is good. We waited for long to get what belonged to us,” Rametsi said.
The two were among several residents of Mamelodi, Winterveldt and Ga-Rankuwa (Mawiga zone) who received their title deeds at the Mabopane Sports Complex on Friday.
In the first leg of the hand-over, Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi, along with her deputy Pam Tshwete, resolved to transfer 8 000 uncontested properties to homeowners of the former Bantu-stans.
According to Kubayi, the initiative, named Title Deeds Friday Campaigning, was conceived early this year and will be realised across the country for homeowners who did not have their papers pre-1994.
However, community leader Sello Moropa said it was long overdue, and that the ANC was campaigning for next year’s elections through the handover of title deeds.
“Why so long? Why are they doing this just before elections? Our people have been subjected to uncertainty the whole of their lives. It’s election time … and they scam us,” he said.
Kubayi said the campaign aimed to mobilise beneficiaries of government-subsidised homes.
“People who want to claim their homes can collect their title deeds at municipality offices,” she said.