Council houses that 111 Freedom Park residents have lived in for many years are now places they can truly call home after they received the title deeds to the properties from the municipality.
“I’ve been waiting for over 15 years for a title deed, which is actually a victory knowing that you are a homeowner of the home you’ve been living in. For the sake of my children, my family, I thank God for this day. I knew it was going to come,” said Frederick Plaatjies, 50, during a handover ceremony at Olifantshoek Community Hall on Wednesday July 12.
Nicoleen Isaacs, 55, and her husband, Clive Isaacs, 52, said they had been waiting for 20 years for the title deed to their home.
“I am so happy this day has arrived. We have been waiting so long to own our own property,” Ms Isaacs said. “We are officially living in our own home, where we can decorate and complete some of the spaces in our house that need fixing. We will continue to take very good care of our home.”
Pamela Johannes, 57, said: “Ek is baie bly vir hierdie geleentheid. This is a huge opportunity for us. We are so grateful for it. So much can happen now and be put into place in our own homes for our families, for our children. I’m very happy.”
She has been living in her house for over 14 years and said she was especially grateful to ward councillor Norman Adonis who had helped her and her husband, Eton, make wills.
“Usually this process costs a lot of money, but it did not cost us because he made it possible. This is a big burden lifted from our shoulders. Sometimes parents pass away and their children have to struggle with this issue but we got it free.”
Mr Adonis made will-writing services available to the homeowners on the day they received their title deeds. He encouraged the recipients to take care of their homes and the legalities that come with them.
City housing official Benjamin van der Ross said the owners should keep their title deeds safe as they would be expensive to replace.
“If it is lost, a fire breaks out, or an accident occurs where you’ve lost your title-deed forms, you will have to open a case that must be reported to the police and apply for another form. A title deed consists of three pages. It will be the most expensive and valuable pages you will have. It will cost over R1000 for one page if not more,” he said.
“Appreciate what you have. Know the power you have on the rights to your property. Work together on creating a clean environment for your area. Because when the value of your area drops, the value of your house drops too. You are privileged, enjoy the newfound ownership.”