Mayor Tau hands out title deeds to Soweto residents
Ululations and whistles reverberated across the Pimville Hall in Soweto as Johannesburg Executive Mayor Cllr Parks Tau handed out title deeds to more than 240 jubilant and ecstatic property owners on Thursday July 14.
The handing out of the “all-important documents” to 242 residents of areas such as Meadowlands, Naledi, Dube, Chiawelo, Orlando West, Diepkloof, Dhlamini, Pimville, Zola, Jabulani, Molapo, Phiri and Jabulani Flats was part of the Johannesburg Property Company’s ongoing Land Regularisation Programme.
The Johannesburg Property Company (JPC) is the City of Johannesburg’s property and facilities management entity. Under the Land Regularisation Programme, introduced in 2005, urban land is audited, verified and transferred to people who were not allowed to own land under apartheid legislation.
Mayor Tau said during apartheid black people would wait for many years before they could lay their hands on their title deeds. Title deeds are legal documents that give recipients the right of ownership of both the land and house. Mayor Tau said after the August 3 local government elections it would be the turn of churches and businesses to receive theirs.
“Today is not only about transferring properties but it is also about contributing to enabling people to make decisions about their own lives and those of their children and the next generation.
“It is also about offering a level of freedom and opportunity that the beneficiaries had not previously enjoyed. You are in a position to make decisions about your property,” Cllr Tau said.
Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing Cllr Dan Bovu said this was a significant event as the title deeds recipients would now be able to leverage on their properties. He said the issuing of title deeds spoke to the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040), which set Johannesburg’s growth path and long-term vision. The recipients of the title deeds could not hide their excitement and joy at the occasion.
Johanna Xakuza, 63, of Jabulani Flats, said she was delighted that, after battling for years for her title deed, she was now “the undisputed owner” of the house she had been living in for years.