Homes of their own for Lavender Hill residents this new year

“No-Cost Transfer” beneficiaries from Lavender Hill and Sakkies Dorp with City officials at the handover of their title deeds.

The year got off to a good start for a few residents of Sakkies Dorp in Hillview and Lavender Hill when they received the title deeds to their homes after years of struggling to become homeowners.

Bernard Gordon, who had been living in his family home for over 37 years, finally got the deed of sale to the house, which his parents used to rent from the City of Cape Town, at a handover celebration last month.

Mr Gordon’s house was one of five rental stock units in St Thomas Street and Deposition Crescent handed over in a no-cost transfer programme.

After years of advocating as part of the Sakkies Dorp Association Committee, Mr Gordon said it was a relief to sign the paperwork and finally call the home his family had lived in for decades their very own.

Ann Louise van der Merwe was overjoyed. She is pictured with Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, Yvonne Solomons and Fagmieyah Petersen.

“I was so excited because we had waited a very long time for this and it has been a long and tough road. We fought with so many officials, some have come and gone already but we are very happy that this dream has become a reality.”

He added that many of the tenants who were waiting for their title deeds had died and their children have taken on the responsibility.

“Many died without any resolve but their children will now become homeowners,” he said.

The five houses are part of a bigger programme and many are still expected to be finalised pending administrative work.

The no cost transfer programme was launched about a year ago to enable qualifying beneficiaries to take ownership of their own homes at no cost.

Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis said Cape Town is the only metro in South Africa that has this initiative.

“The initiative is really about driving dignity and inclusivity through property ownership. We have about 22 000 City-owned rental units or serviced sites where tenants may qualify for ownership and we’ve allocated almost R40 million for these no-cost transfers over the next three years.”

Councillors Shanen Rossouw and Marita Petersen with beneficiaries Samantha and Bernard Gordon, Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis and Mayoral committee member for human settlements Carl Pophaim at back

The programme funds attorney transfer fees and insurance costs of the rental units from the date of sale until the registration of the property.

He said the City will continue to elevate the programme this year and drive the empowerment that comes with property ownership for generations to come.

Carl Pophaim, Mayoral committee member for human settlements, thanked all role-players who made the handover possible and said many more home owners will be made through the programme.

“To own a property, where once you were prohibited from owning property due to the apartheid legislation, is one of the greatest tools of empowerment and redress.”

Councillors Shanen Rossouw and Marita Petersen, beneficiary Bronwyn Jackson, Mayoral committee member for human settlements Carl Pophaim and Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.