Government housing subsidy : exploring the administration processes in the dispensation of title deeds in Kwa-Mashu.
Magagula, Mbongeni Emmanuel.
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The low-cost housing scheme was an initiative of the new government soon after the first democratic election in 1994. Since then the demand for low-cost housing is ever escalating and the government has never managed to get rid of the backlogs. Along with this problem is also another issue, the delays in the processing of title deeds for the beneficiaries of these low-cost houses. Findings of this study suggest that many beneficiaries of the low-cost housing scheme do not possess this important document: the title deed. This study investigated this issue, the causes of the delays in the processing of title deeds by the relevant officials. The main objective of the study was to establish why many beneficiaries do not have title deeds and what the repercussions for such a situation are. To achieve this, questionnaires were distributed to officials responsible for the processing of title deeds, as well as to the community members who have benefited from the scheme but have not yet received title deeds. The findings of the study revealed that although it should take between a few weeks and three months to process title deeds, it was clear that some community members have not yet received title deeds even though they were allocated these houses more than 16 years ago. The relevant authorities pointed to a number of issues as causing the delays in the processing of title deeds. These include the fact that the beneficiaries submit wrong documentation for processing, delays in the establishment of township registers, incorrect drawing up of deeds and delays on the part of municipalities in releasing figures required for rates clearance certificate. On the other hand, the community members who participated indicated that some officials deliberately delay the process with a view to fulfilling personal interests through fraudulent activities. Further, it was revealed that the absence of title deeds makes the beneficiaries live in fear of being evicted from the properties that they have been allocated because they do not have the legal document to claim ownership of the property. Given these findings the study recommends that government should make efforts to deal with backlogs in the processing of title deeds and one way of doing this is to invest in the skills and knowledge of the administrative authorities as they seem to be inadequately resourced in this regard.