Annah Dikgale with Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. The city gave her the title deed for the house she has been living in since 1963. Picture: PENELOPE MASHEGO
Annah Dikgale with Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba. The city gave her the title deed for the house she has been living in since 1963. Picture: PENELOPE MASHEGO

JOHANNESBURG Mayor Herman Mashaba has handed title deeds to a grandmother who has been waiting to own her home since 1963.

On Tuesday Mashaba visited Diepkloof resident Annah Dikgale in the Soweto township to give her the title deed for her house.

His visit marked the first of 40 title deeds he will be handing over to residents in Soweto, including those in Meadowlands and Orlando, in the next few days.

READ THIS: Leading a professional team for job at hand

The mayor has vowed to end Johannesburg’s title deed backlog during his five years of governance, and will hand over 2,000 of them to residents in the next few weeks.

"This title deed, you know what it says to you? No government can ever take it away from you. All the apartheid legislation prevented you as a black person [from] having ownership of it, you are now a house owner by law, no one can take it away," said Mashaba as he handed it to Dikgale.

He said Dikgale could now use the house as financial security and it would make getting loans from the bank easier.

Mashaba said the fact that he was able to do in 23 days what the previous administration failed to do in more than 20 years showed there was a stumbling block in handing over the title deeds.

"The handover of title deeds is a top priority of my administration, especially given the chronic legacy of a failure to do so in this city, with residents waiting years and years with no results," he said.

Speaking outside her house, Dikgale, 70, who lives with her grandchildren and great grandchildren, said she was happy that her home was now truly hers.

"I was so scared, when they [the DA] said they were coming yesterday, I thought they were coming to take my house from me. I’m very happy now," she said, laughing.

She said she tried to get her title deed in 2007 but gave up a year later after being told to come back, with more documents every time she was at the deeds office.

The mayor was accompanied by the EFF’s regional chairman Musa Novela who said he was happy the EFF’s manifesto goals for housing were being reached by the city.

He said the process was happening as fast as it was "because of the pressure that has been exerted by the EFF on the city. We have been engaging the city on issues of priority of which housing is one."

Novela said the fact that new administration was able to get thousands of title deeds ready despite only being in office for 23 days, showed that someone had been sitting on the deeds.

Please sign in or register to comment.