Tshwane gives title deeds to Nellmapius residents for homes they rented since 1994
Pretoria - Nellmapius residents were overwhelmed with joy when the City of Tshwane handed-over title deeds to give them ownership and land rights to homes they have rented since 1994.
MMC for Human Settlements, Mpho Mehlape-Zimu visited the community to issue the first 50 replacement title deeds to the rightful beneficiaries from the Nellmapius Property Project which consists of 162 properties.
The project was originally constructed as a rental scheme during 1991/1992 and later developed by the City, which then took a decision to transfer the units to the qualifying beneficiaries.
Mehlape-Zimu said the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements, during the latter part of the 1990’s, appointed a service provider to transfer the 162 properties under the Regularisation and Transfer of Houses programme.
She said a total of 129 properties were registered. The remaining properties could not be registered at that stage because of personal challenges that some of the tenant’s experienced which included unresolved estates and divorce disputes.
However, a few of the registered owners approached the City complaining that the title deeds they received from the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements were copies and not the original documents.
Subsequently, a survey was conducted, and it was found that approximately 60 of the registered 129 title deeds issued by the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements were indeed copies and not the original title deeds.
Through the City’s engagement with the Gauteng Department of Human Settlements a new service provider was appointed to conclude on this process.
Finally, the first 50 replacement title deeds were issued. The remaining 10 and the outstanding 33 transfers are also underway and the remaining registered title deeds will be delivered in 2021.
"The distribution of title deeds is a crucial mayoral priority for the DA-led administration. Title deeds offer security of tenure and help residents to leverage the value of their properties.
"The DA administration will always seek to ensure that private property rights are protected and entrenched in the city," she said.
A proud ward councillor Thabo Ntlatleng said he's been working with the community and fighting for the people to be given ownership of the homes since 2016 because it wasn't fair for the residents to pay rent for homes in an environment that has RPD houses that are bigger in size and have bigger yards but were given out for free, yet their neighbours have to pay rent.
He said: "This is the beginning of something good and we hope the City will not relax and it actually follows through with its intention to sign off and deliver the remaining title deeds.
"Once they have the title deeds the collection of rent stops. At the moment there hasn't been a formal instruction communicated to the finance department which deals with collections. Some people are still receiving collection letters, so we'll only be sure when we have it in black and white."
The councillor said it was still a bit hard for the people to celebrate this because they were still wondering what will happen to their debt to the municipality for services. He said some people were unable to celebrate because they were given title deeds to properties that owed well over R20 000, which they could have settled if they didn't have to pay rent.
He said this was another issue they'll engage the municipality about.