Department Delivers Houses and Title Deeds for the First Time in Mossel Bay
The Department of Human Settlements made history in Mossel Bay on Thursday 31 January when it handed over houses, together with title deeds, for the first time in the rural area of Friemersheim in Mossel Bay.
Over many decades the Department has been handing out houses without title deeds, something that gave people no security of tenure.
Among those who received title deeds on the day was 90-year-old Mrs Serina Speelman, who has lived in the Friemersheim area her entire life.
South Africa has 23 rural areas, half of which are in the Western Cape, while the rest is shared by Free State, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces. Other rural areas in the Western Cape include Ebenezer, Kranshoek, Genadendal, Rietpoort and Zoar.
The Friemersheim houses and title deeds were handed out as part of Act 9 (1987) or the Rural Areas Act, which is an old Act under where people were provided land without title deeds. Since 1994 the government has been trying to formalise the area by building human settlements and giving title deeds to those people who to date have not received any.
After handing over the houses, the minister, assisted by departmental and municipality officials, proceeded to the local hall, where over 200 people were waiting to receive their title deeds.
Minister Madikizela’s spokesman Zali Mbali said this is something the department will try to do everytime houses are handed over in future.
“We are aware that it will not always be possible but whenever we can, we will give people title deeds with the houses even in urban areas,” said Mbali.