On Thursday, 29 April 2021, as part of our Freedom Month celebrations, Executive Mayor Gesie van Deventer, handed over 77 title deeds to residents in Ida’s Valley. This forms part of Mayor Van Deventer’s commitment and promise to give people ownership of their properties. These title deeds form part of the Ida’s Valley Housing Project, the first housing project of its kind in the Ida’s Valley region in nearly four decades.
Ownership creates empowerment and opportunity. It’s a pathway to freedom that some of the beneficiaries have waited for their entire lives. This is especially true for Ms Maria Hendricks, the oldest beneficiary at today’s handover. Ms Hendricks, aged 86, was completely overcome with emotion, knowing that she is now a legal homeowner with an asset that she can pass on to her children.
The Ida’s Valley Housing Project is a mixed housing development consisting of 113 GAP houses (affordable housing for first-time buyers) as well as 87 fully subsidized houses for qualifying beneficiaries on the housing demand database. Of the 87 subsidised houses built, 85 have been registered at the Deeds Office. The final two transfers are Deceased Estate matters.
The process of transferring these title deeds began in February 2020 but was delayed due to the national COVID-19 lockdown. Our officials however continued to work hard and made every effort to expedite all processes involved. The hard work paid off and the first residents were able to move into their new homes in September 2020. This means that these residents all received their title deeds within 7 months or less from the date of occupation of their houses. This serves as a testament of our commitment to making people legal home owners.
Since taking office in 2016, Mayor van Deventer has made a concerted effort to speed up the process of transferring title deeds. Since then, more than 2000 title deeds have been handed over to the rightful beneficiaries. Of these title deeds, 65% were for newly built projects and 35% were for historical projects.
Mayor van Deventer also said: “It is truly an honour for me to give these residents the gift of owning their home. Ownership of your house creates a peace of mind that no money can buy and acts as a passport to economic participation. As a municipality, we will continue our efforts to transfer title deeds as quickly as possible. We know many people have been waiting for many years and we are working hard to address all backlogs. Empowerment starts with ownership and today I am overjoyed to be empowering these residents and their families.
The Mayor also thanked the Khaya Lam project of the Free Market Foundation for their unyielding support in expediting the process of transferring title deeds to our residents.