Herman Mashaba’s ‘tens of thousands of title deeds’ may be out of reach

While campaigning for his current position, Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba promised to deliver “tens of thousands of title deeds” while in office. What progress has he made to date?

The mayor’s office says 2 714 title deeds were issued in the financial year ending on June 30.

In the first three months of the current financial year, another 741 title deeds were issued, bringing the total to 3 455. At this rate, it would take longer than a five-year term to reach the tens of thousands of title deeds Mashaba had envisioned while campaigning.

To date, residents of Vlakfontein have been among the main beneficiaries of this exercise, with about a third of title deeds being issued in the area. When The Star’s Khaya Koko visited Vlakfontein to report on how receiving title deeds had affected beneficiaries’ lives, he found a number of residents who were unhappy about their water debt.

Buntukazi Xuba, spokesperson for the city’s Housing Department, says deceased or untraceable beneficiaries and family disputes are factors that might slow down the issuing of title deeds.

“In terms of town planning issues, title deeds cannot be issued in townships that haven’t finalised their town planning processes like tarred roads (and so forth). This then means as a department we have to finalise those townships before the ownership is transferred,” she said.

Promise outcome: The promise is in progress but Mashaba might not reach “tens of thousands” by the end of the term.