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Today the City of Cape Town handed 120 title deeds to community members of Pelican Park. This speaks to our commitment to empowering some of the most vulnerable residents as rightful property owners.

Land ownership restores the dignity of our residents and assists them to triumph over the injustices of our painful past. Our efforts to hand over title deeds are a testament to its commitment to redress and reconciliation.

In 2016 we completed 2 013 Breaking New Ground (BNG) homes in Pelican Park and residents moved into their homes. Since then we have issued 915 title deeds to new home owners.

Under apartheid, the government took away people’s rights to dignity and ownership as people of colour were not allowed to own property. When we were elected into government we made a commitment to change that, and to undo the wrongs of the past through redress and reconciliation.In my first term as Mayor, between 2011 and 2016, the City has issued 11 000 title deeds to residents.

In the past six months we issued title deeds to residents in Retreat, Athlone, Wesbank, Wallacedene, Goodwood, Eastridge, Beacon Valley, and Tafelsig. Every month Cape Town residents receive their title deeds.

Today, it was an honour to meet some of the Pelican Park residents and hear their stories. It was especially wonderful to share the moment with Louise de Klerk, a Pelican Park resident who celebrated her 45th birthday on Monday, 9 April 2018.

Louise lived in the bush on the edge of Pelican Park for 20 years before she received her own home two years ago. She spoke about the hardship she lived through after she moved to Cape Town from Moorreesburg and how she gave birth and cared for her children while living on the street.

I was touched by her sheer determination to never give up hope. Louise, with the support of community members, is now working to improve her own life and a home in her name gives her more security.

I urged all the new title deed holders to immediately make sure they have a valid will that would ensure that their homes stay in their family.

I also commended Cllr Gerry Gordon and staff of the City who are working in Pelican Park for their effort in helping to improve the lives of the community.

We are currently building a new clinic in Pelican Park. The R46 million project is one of the biggest ever undertaken by City Health and will be completed in 2019. The facility will provide a full basket of services to residents of Pelican Park, Lotus River and surrounds once it is operational.

Meanwhile we have appointed consultants to start the planning for the construction of Pelican Park Phase 2. An estimated 2 330 BNG, GAP and market-related houses are planned for the phase.

We will continue to make every effort to ensure that more property owners receive their title deeds. We must build a more inclusive city where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

It was encouraging to hear from new title deed owners about their plans for the future. We will continue to deliver excellent services to all Cape Town residents and care for those who need it the most.

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