During a special ceremony, 50 first-time property owners, including 95-year-old pensioner Koolsum Adams, received the title deeds to their state-subsidised homes in the Pelican Park housing development. The remaining 125 title deeds will be issued to beneficiaries over the next few days.

The City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport and Urban Development, Councillor Brett Herron, was present on the morning of 5 September 2018, to congratulate the new property owners and to encourage them to make responsible decisions to secure their homes for their loved ones.

Pensioner Koolsum Adams, who recently celebrated her 95th birthday, was among the beneficiaries of the Pelican Park housing development who received their title deeds during the special handover ceremony.

Over the next few days a total of 175 beneficiaries would receive their title deeds for their new Breaking New Ground (BNG) homes.

Mrs Adams was on the housing database for 20 years and living in Manenberg when she received her house.

‘I am extremely happy that I have my own house. Now I can be the boss,’ she joked.

Her daughter Washiela Sait said her mother has always looked forward to having her own house.

‘The day when I got the letter to say we must come to the office, my mother couldn’t believe it because she always told everybody, “one day I will have my own house” and eventually she got the key. We have done lots of things to the house to make it comfortable for her and she is happy,’ said Mrs Sait.

Phase 1 of the Pelican Park housing project provided 2 013 families with BNG houses. BNG houses are subsidised by the State and are offered to households who are registered on the City’s housing database and have a monthly household income of below R3 500. The beneficiaries of these BNG houses are, furthermore, selected in accordance with the City’s Housing Allocation Policy.

To date, 1 169 beneficiaries have received their title deeds.

The title deeds are handed over in batches as the City receives them from the Deeds Office.

During the special ceremony, Councillor Herron and Ward Councillor Gerry Gordon congratulated the new property owners.

‘It was an honour to meet our pensioners, including Mrs Koolsum Adams, and to present them with their title deeds. For many of our beneficiaries, receiving their own homes and title deeds is a dream come true.

‘For this reason, it is always a heart-warming occasion to hand over title deeds to our beneficiaries, especially our pensioners, because we get to be a part of providing some of our most vulnerable residents with the opportunity to own property for the first time in their lives. Mrs Adams, like many other people, was affected by the Group Areas Act during Apartheid, which saw her family being moved from Claremont to Manenberg. With her title deed in hand, Mrs Adams now officially has a home of her own.

‘These title deeds are therefore not just pieces of paper. They represent the restoration of dignity. They give our beneficiaries a sense of belonging and the confidence and security they need to prove that they are the rightful owners of their homes,’ said Councillor Herron.

He also encouraged the beneficiaries to look after their homes.

‘As the rightful, legal property owners, the beneficiaries are reminded that they are responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their homes. They are also responsible for ensuring that they make good decisions that secure their homes for their loved ones as these are their financial assets and provide shelter for their families. Now that they have their title deeds, I would encourage all our beneficiaries to ensure that they draft a will to secure their assets for the future,’ said Councillor Herron.