The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Solly Msimanga, and the Member of the Mayoral Committee for Housing and Human Settlements, Cllr Mandla Nkomo, today conferred 40 title deeds to residents of Lebanon, Winterveld during a handover ceremony at the Tshwane House headquarters.
The City of Tshwane resolved to write off the arrear municipal service accounts of these households to enable Nedbank to proceed with the conveyancing of the houses. This follows a dispute between the residents and the former North West Housing Corporation (NWHC) after the latter entered into a housing investment agreement with the erstwhile Bophuthatswana Building Society (BBS) in terms of which the BBS undertook to support the NWHC's housing development initiatives in the Winterveld area by providing mortgage-backed loan funding to beneficiaries qualifying in terms of defined lending criteria.
Owing to structural defects at the properties concerned, and owing to a lack of remedial actions from NHWC, the beneficiaries embarked on a mortgage bond boycott which is still in force. Most of the houses have been repossessed by Nedbank but beneficiaries have refused to move out from the properties and failed to fulfil their financial obligations to the bank.
In an attempt to resolve the disputes in respect of the houses, several meetings were held with Nedbank representatives, the Lebanon community and the MMC for Housing and Human Settlements. It was clear from the meetings that Nedbank wished to do justice to the affected families by effecting a legal transfer to the rightful owners, at no cost to the families.
The financial implications were as follows:
- Nedbank wrote off all debt for the houses concerned.
- Nedbank would pay the conveyancing fees of approximately R8 000,00 per property.
"One of the challenges in concluding this project was the unfortunate miscommunication of the intension of the City and Nedbank which led to some community members being skeptical of this noble deed. Fortunately, through further engagement between the City, the Ward Councillor, Nedbank and the affected community of Lebanon, this contentious matter has been amicably resolved," said Msimanga.
Cllr Nkomo said the occasion represents the City's promise to restore the dignity of Tshwane residents through the provision of dignified home ownership by issuing title deeds. "The title deeds that will be issued to the registered owners serve as proof that it has always been the sole intention of the partnership between the City and Nedbank to bestow security of tenure to the deserving beneficiaries and to restore their dignity through property ownership."
In July 1996, the Citizen Bank acquired the business of the BBS and took cession of all rights, interest and obligations of BBS, including the BBS right and obligations in terms of the Winterveld housing investment agreement. FBC Fidelity Bank in the meantime acquired the business of Citizen Bank including all rights and title in respect of the agreement as stated above. FBC Fidelity Bank was later taken over by Peoples Bank, a subsidiary of Nedbank. Peoples Bank was subsequently incorporated with Nedbank.
The open and honest negotiations have enabled this breakthrough and have restored the dignity of the residents of Lebanon.
The City is committed to providing sustainable and integrated human settlements that are accessible and liveable, and have adequate access to economic opportunities, a mix of safe and secure housing and tenure types, reliable and affordable basic services and social amenities.