houseowners get title deeds

SECTIONS of GaRankuwa, outside Pretoria, used to be filled with squatter camps - but that is slowly changing.

SECTIONS of GaRankuwa, outside Pretoria, used to be filled with squatter camps - but that is slowly changing.

GaRankuwa Extension 20 was once a squatter camp for 620 shacks, which were destroyed when 1441 residential sites were developed.

Tshwane's housing department handed over 1264 title deeds to new residents as part of their plan to eliminate all squatter camps by 2014.

So far, 1323 houses have been built in Extension 20, with 33 sites reserved for an organisation called Homeless Federation and 32 sites for beneficiaries earning between R3500 and R7000 a month.

Absalom Ditshoke, the member of the mayoral committee responsible for housing, said the development offered residents secure and better living conditions.

"Issuing these title deeds will therefore go a long way in asserting and restoring the dignity of our own people."

Ditshoke said the city had developed a process to allocate stands and houses to qualifying beneficiaries.

"Housing remains one of the most basic needs that signifies ... the person's dignity and standing in a community," Ditshoke said.

He said the city had set aside funds to build new roads, a taxi rank and a swimming pool in the area .

He advised the new residents to take care of their title deeds - the official documents that show a person is the rightful owner of a property.

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