Eighty-year-old Janap Baartjies was among the homeowners from Beacon Valley in Mitchells Plain who were overjoyed to receive the title deeds to their homes for the first time. These handovers are a testament to the City of Cape Town’s commitment to empowering some of our most vulnerable residents as rightful property owners.
The City of Cape Town is in the process of handing over historical title deeds to residents which legally confirms that they are the rightful property owners of their homes and the land on which it is built.
On Wednesday 21 November, Councillor Zahid Badroodien, Mayoral Committee Member for Area South, along with Ward Councillor Solomon Philander and Ward 79 committee members, visited property owners at their homes in Beacon Valley to hand over over the title deeds.
Janap Baartjies, 80, who has been living in Mitchells Plain for over 38 years, said she was very happy to receive her title deed. She was one of the first residents to move to Beacon Valley.
‘I am feeling emotional and cannot express how thankful I am. This is a dream come true. I finally own something of value,’ said Ms Baartjies.
Property owner Ivan Rorich became emotional as he paid tribute to his late wife when he received his title deed. He has been living in the area for 37 years and cares for his granddaughter who has autism.
‘Thank you, I am so glad that I have finally received my title deed. Finally, the house is officially mine,’ said Mr Rorich.
Another property owner, Elizabeth Barron, who recently celebrated her 65th birthday, said it feels good to have her own home.
Leatechia Ockhuis, who has been living in the area for more than 40 years, said she was overwhelmed with emotion.
‘I can’t stop the tears of joy. I have no words,’ she said.
‘The transfer of ownership and handing over of title deeds is in line with the City’s commitment to redressing the imbalances of the apartheid past where people were denied ownership of property.
‘It was very heart-warming for me to visit the residents at their homes and to hand over their title deeds to them. These title deeds are valuable because it provides the property owners with the evidence and the assurance that they are the rightful owners of their homes and the land on which it is situated.
‘We encourage our property owners to make responsible decisions regarding their properties. Now that they have their title deeds, it is important for them to have a will in place which will safeguard their assets for generations to come.
‘Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring that more property owners receive their title deeds so that they can also have the sense of belonging and security that comes along with having this very valuable piece of paper in their hands,’ said Councillor Badroodien.