257 residents from Thornhill received the title deeds of their RDP houses on Human Rights Day last week after a wait of more than a decade.
Kouga Executive Mayor Elza van Lingen first visited three of the older beneficiaries at their homes to deliver the title deeds to them in person before distributing the remainder at a ceremony at the community hall.
Van Lingen said the handing over of the title deeds was long overdue as the beneficiaries had already moved into their houses in 2001 and 2005 respectively.
“The ANC led Council failed to uphold this community’s rights by withholding their title deeds for more than a decade.
“We are very pleased that we were able to rectify this on a day as significant as Human Rights Day,” she said.
73 year old Patronella Stuurman was the first to receive her title deed when the Mayor and Councillor Brenton Williams stopped off at her home.
“My only regret is that my husband isn’t here to receive the title deed with me. He passed away in April last year without ever having the certainty that this house belonged to us,” Stuurman said.
77 year old Shadrack Nyoka, who was also visited at his home, was equally excited.
“I have put a lot of work into the house and I am glad to have proof that this is my place,” he said.
The mood at the community hall was jubilant as families and friends gathered to watch the beneficiaries take rightful ownership of their houses.
“This is such a proud day for all of us,” said Minah Jones. “Many of us didn’t think this day would ever come. The municipality could not have given us a better present on Human Rights Day.”
Those who were not at the community hall on Wednesday were asked to collect their title deeds from the community hall the following day.
Mayor Van Lingen said a total of 257 title were ready to be handed over.
“Another 45 beneficiaries have already passed on therefore, we have asked their families to visit our housing office so that the necessary arrangements can be made for the house to be transferred to the correct heir.”