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The following is an extract from a speech by City of Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille, at the official handover of 100 title deeds to beneficiaries who have been living in Council-owned rental houses in Nomzamo.

Good morning, goeie môre, molweni, as-salaam alaikum, shalom.

Today is a demonstration of the impact that can be made on people’s lives through partnership and collaboration.In September 2015, just eight months ago, the City of Cape Town signed an agreement with the Free Market Foundation.

Through their Khaya Lam Programme, they have been able to partner with the City to identify and secure the issuing of 100 title deeds to previously disadvantaged beneficiaries of housing developments.

Today, we are here to start a new chapter in the lives of 100 people.

I want to thank Dr Wiese and his son, Mr Jacob Wiese, who are here with us today, for covering the cost of each of transfers of the deeds.

Our interaction and engagement has truly exemplified the progress that can be made possible when the public, private and civil society sectors all come together.

Our Human Settlements Directorate has embarked on ongoing initiatives to ensure the transfer of ownership and subsequent issuing of title deeds to housing beneficiaries in various historic housing developments.

These initiatives are aimed at addressing historical transfer backlogs and form part of the City’s commitment to redress through the empowerment of historically disadvantaged residents.

In 2012 we identified 25 000 title deeds for transfer, and we have already completed the transfer of 14 200 deeds in just over three years in areas like Happy Valley, Pelican Park, Rondevlei and Lourensia Park among others.

Going forward, we want to continue to play our part in encouraging ownership by transferring title of our own rental stock as much as possible.

This is not something that we can address alone.

I would like to commend the Free Market Foundation for initiating the Khaya Lam Land Reform Project.

It is encouraging to find other organisations who share in the vision of transformation through ownership.

When people were locked out of the economy because they were denied the opportunity to own property, then we must undo that in order to address that aspect of the legacy.

Nomzamo was selected because we are taking the old developments one at a time, and Nomzamo was ready at that given point in time with 100 corrective transfers.

As a public servant, this is one of the moments that really make all the daily struggles worth the while.

I am honoured to be afforded this opportunity to share in your joy here today.

You walked into this hall today as a tenant, but you leave here a homeowner.

This title deed is more than a piece of paper.

It is the key which will unlock many more economic opportunities.

As the owner of an asset, you are now empowered to financially secure yourselves and your families.

Like Bukiwe Joki, who was a domestic worker and single mother since 1986.

When we called to let her know that she would receive her title deed today she said she wouldn’t be able to sleep because of the excitement of going to give her grandchildren the news today.

Or Mrs Volo, who moved into her home in 1994 and has worked at the Somerset Mall as an assembler.

Today she knows that all her life’s hard work and the rent that she paid will be to the benefit of her children.

I want to wish you well for the next part of your journey.

I would also like to make an appeal for the outstanding beneficiaries to please make contact with the local housing office so that we can reach them and deliver the good news to them as well.

I thank you.

God bless.

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