Finally homeowners

Mitchells Plain resident receive the title deeds to their homes, after living in council-owned houses for several years.

Mitchell’s Plain residents have finally received ownershipoftheir homes, after having lived in council-owned houses for decades.

Michael Pietersen, councillor for Ward 116, and Solomon Philander, councillor for Ward 79, distributed a total of 70 title deeds in the past month.

Wilhelmina Goliath, from Beacon Valley, said she is very happy after living in the house for 30 years.

Farieda Arieff, from Beacon Valley, who had been living there since 1986, said in 2010 she was able to buy her house and only today it is possible to see she is the owner. “Ek bly al van 1986 in Beacon Valley en het in 2010 al die huis gekoop en nou vandag was dit moontlik vir my om te kan sien ek is ’* huiseienaar,” she said.

Mr Pietersen said: “Ek is baie bly vir almal van julle en dit kom julle toe en namens die burgermeester Patricia de Lille wens ek almal geluk.”

He advised residents to insure their homes, in case of disasters; to have a will, decreeing who should inherit the house; and they should maintain their homes.

Next month Mr Philander will be distributing 34 title deeds.

He said it was good to see the elderly getting what they deserve.

“They had worked all of their lives and many were not able to see this day, of being homeowners,” he said.

Stuart Diamond, mayoral committee member for assets and facilities management, said there are no set time frames for the issuing of title deeds, as it depended on the registration of transfer (conveyancing) process which could be influenced by a number of variables.

The Housing Act 107 of 1997 places a restriction on the sale of state-subsidised housing which includes the sale of City-owned rental stock bought in terms of the Enhanced Extended Discount Benefit Scheme which is a national programme.

Mr Diamond said that this meant any person benefiting from such a subsidy is prohibited from selling the property within a period of eight years from the date on which the property was acquired by the purchaser.

“In these instances an eight-year pre-emptive condition or restriction is registered against the title of the property and prevents the legal transfer thereof. The restriction does not apply to properties bought with the purchaser’s own finances,” he said.

The worth of a property is determined by the size of the erven, the top structure and geographical location.

Mr Diamond said once the registration of the transfer process is complete, the properties are in private ownership and the City no longer has jurisdiction over such properties unless the eight year pre-emptive period is still in place.