Mayor hands over title deeds

Two sick elderly women of Thabong in Welkom were pleasantly surprised on Tuesday morning when councillors of the Majthabeng Local Municipality dropped by to deliver their title deeds.

While handing out title deeds in Thabong, the executive mayor of Matjhabeng Local Municipality, Sebenzile Ngangelizwe, was informed of two elderly women who had been bedridden for months and could not fetch their title deeds in person.

“We understand the importance and symbolism behind receiving one’s title deed, therefore we wanted these individuals to be a part of the process even if it is from their own homes,” said Ngangelizwe.

This week 120 residents from five different wards in Thabong received their title deeds, with various wards in Meloding having received theirs two weeks ago.

“Along with forced removals, the apartheid government also passed legislations that prohibited black people from buying or owning land. The transfer of the title deeds was meant to be a smooth process, but there had been numerous problems over the years with changes in government structures, project difficulties and surveying hitches.

“We therefore want to assure the community of Matjhabeng that the long wait is over and the municipality is speeding up the process as best we can.”

One of the women who received their title deeds is 85 years old and has occupied her piece of land since 1985. Mahlao Motsumi said she had lived in the shack for years until she was handed over the keys to her government-subsidised home in 2009.

“I am happy and grateful to finally have the piece of paper that proves that I own this place I have been calling my home for years.”

Motsumi lives in the two-bedroom home with her four daughters, several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

“I was very happy when I received my house in 2009 because I had lived in a leaking shack that flooded and drenched when it rained,” said Motsumi.

Most of these residents live in subsidised houses and qualify for indigent grants, which mean they receive a discount on their water, electricity and rates.

Local ward councillor, Hlobohang Mokhomo, said it was a memorable experience to be part of the handing over process.

“I have realised throughout this process, that in order for our people to fight or protect their communities, they need to feel a sense of belonging. It is amazing to see their faces light up when their names are being called to receive their title deeds. Therefore, we would like to tell everyone in Matjhabeng who is still waiting that their turn is not far off.”