Hankey was the final stop for the first leg of Kouga Municipality’s community outreach programme of issuing title deeds to long-awaiting home-owners across the region.
The Vusumzi Landu Hall was buzzing, with residents coming to collect the document which confirms them as property owners.
Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks said the municipality was proud of being a catalyst for people’s self-determination and development.
“We are happy that we are able to affirm you as owners of your properties, to bring an end to all the uncertainty and to allow you to use your ownership status to exploit opportunities in business and education and to leave a secured legacy for generations of your families,” he said.
Most of the houses were registered in 2006 with the Deeds Office, but the title deeds were never given to their owners.
“We have made it our mission, as this leadership, that no title deed must remain with the municipality or any government institution, but must reside with the rightful owner,” he said.
The Mayor hand-delivered title deeds to three elderly and frail residents who could not make it to the gathering due to age and ill-health.
Among them was 92-year-old Andries Amsterdam who said he would treasure the document with his life.
“You leave me here a happy man, a very happy man. I will now be able to pass this house on to those who come after me without any uncertainties when the time comes for me to depart,” he said.
In total 319 title deeds were issued in Hankey over two days.
Residents who are unsure of their status are encouraged to inquire with the municipality’s Human Settlements officials at all units.