Wait finally over for Westonaria home owners

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Westonaria – Last year, when Thabiso Mosethe was preparing for his matric exams, he had to wait until all his family members were asleep before he could start studying, due to limited space in the house.

“My grandmother’s house is too small and everyone is forced to squash in because it’s the only home for all of us, including cousins, aunts and uncles,” the 19-year-old told SAnews.

Mosethe was among the 60 beneficiaries in the community of Westonaria Borwa who were handed title deeds by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Thursday.

Mosethe, who is a first year medical student at Wits University, has been looking after his 13-year-old brother and six-year-old sister for the past three years, following his parents’ death.

He told SAnews that having their own house and a title deed as proof of ownership is a huge relief for him and his siblings.

“I still can’t believe that we now have our own place at my age because it’s been a struggle at my grandmother’s house with everyone staying there. Now I have enough space and time for my studies.

“If it wasn’t for government, most people would still be suffering in informal settlements with no proper sewerage system and water,” said an elated Mosethe.

Another beneficiary Makemelo Anna Tlhomola couldn’t hold back her excitement and started singing in appreciation of what the government has done.

“I’m lost for words with everything happening today, thank you,” said the 80-year-old.

During the event, Minister Sisulu handed over 60 of the 150 title deeds to the community. The beneficiaries included senior citizens, child headed households and disabled people.

Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Minister Sisulu acknowledged that although more than 4.6 million houses and subsidies have been delivered across the country, many people are still without houses.

She said one of the benefits of having a title deed is that it does not only cover the owner of the house but the whole family.

“It is much further than yourself. It ensures that the older people are able to hand over their assets to their children and grandchildren. If the owner passed away, no one will come and evict you, it will belong to the family,” said Minister Sisulu.

Don’t sell your houses

She also urged the beneficiaries not to sell their houses and move back to the shacks they stayed in before, warning them that the law does not allow a person to sell the house before 10 years of occupation.

“The house you are selling for R20 000, we are building it for R160 000. Also, keep your environment clean and safe,” she told beneficiaries.

She also encouraged people with skills to make use of the housing project by perfecting their skills because the owners would need their services, which would in turn generate an income for them.

“There will be an office for small business here, take advantage of that office to perfect your skills,” said Minister Sisulu.

Gauteng Human Settlements MEC Paul Mashatile said the housing in Westonaria has been extended and by the time the project is completed, there would be 16 000 houses in the area.

“In these new projects, we are building new cities, including clinics, schools and police stations. We have identified 14 sites for the building of schools, with the building of two new schools starting next week,” said MEC Mashatile.

He added that 1 600 title deeds are ready and assured the community that the houses would be allocated fairly.

“We will allocate the houses according to the waiting list, and there would be no jumping queues,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za

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