Over 600 beneficiaries in Mpumalanga receive title deeds

Friday, January 12, 2024

The New Year began on a high note for 619 beneficiaries of government-subsidised homes who have received their long-awaited title deeds in Tekwane South in the City of Mbombela in Mpumalanga.

This as Human Settlements Minister, Mmamoloko Kubayi and Deputy Minister Pam Tshwete, led a delegation on a two-day service delivery programme in the province. 

The two leaders also engaged with contractors, developers and members of the community, amongst others. 

The meeting focused on opportunities in the human settlement sector, while discussions focused on policy enhancements as envisaged in the Human Settlements White Paper, released for written public submissions.

According to the Department of Human Settlements, the issuing of title deeds is one of the government priorities to restore full property of ownership and bestow security of tenure. 

Other interventions to respond to the gap market include programmes such as First Home Finance, social housing, upgrading informal settlements, and the delivery of fully subsidised government housing.

The beneficiaries included 74-year-old Nana Santumela and 72-year-old Esther Mhlabane, who also receive social services from the government.

“Everywhere, every week, every province's MECs and Mayors must issue title deeds as a matter of urgency to give back dignity to people and ensure home ownership, even for the most vulnerable in society,” said Kubayi.

Affordable housing

Kubayi also made a clarion call to contractors and developers to partner with the government through the Department of Human Settlements to increase affordable housing for people who do not qualify for fully subsidised government homes.

“Contractors should seize these opportunities to increase stock for other programmes such as First Home Finance for the missing middle-income earners. This is one of the growth points for the department,” she added. 

The Minister also highlighted various opportunities on offer including the Government Employee Housing Scheme, which enables home ownership for public servants.

The increased delivery of affordable housing stock, the department said, will enable the government to respond to in-migration, which mainly affects Metropolitan Municipalities and secondary cities, such as Mbombela.

 “We are working with the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) to respond to migration through specific funding. This will enable the government to work with the private sector to deliver more affordable housing units,” said Kubayi.

Economic opportunities

Meanwhile, Tshwete applauded the Mpumalanga provincial government for availing economic opportunities for women-owned contractors, including youth and people with disabilities. 

She also emphasised a need for result-driven transformation in the sector in which women can play a much bigger role than they deserve, citing that women always ensure the timely delivery of projects compared to their male counterparts.

Community Schemes Ombud Service

The two-day programme concluded with the launch of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) Mbombela Satellite Office, led by Tshwete and MEC for Human Settlements, Speed Mashilo.

The CSOS is an agency of the Department of Human Settlements responsible for regulating the conduct of parties within community schemes. The expansion of the CSOS footprint seeks to better service communities and follows the recent launches of other satellite offices in Limpopo and Western Cape provinces.

“I want to congratulate CSOS on this milestone of launching an office in Mpumalanga. This is indicative of an organisation that is growing in its service and reaching more people in the country,” Tshwete added. 

White Paper

The Ministerial visit to Mpumalanga was also used as a platform to solicit inputs on the Human Settlements White Paper released for public comments. 

The White Paper is aimed at improving how the department executes its mandate, including social housing which can be converted into rent-to-own opportunities to increase home ownership. 

The public has until 31 January to make written inputs on the White Paper, which can be accessed here https://bit.ly/3vwvOF9. – SAnews.gov.za