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Butterworth families getting title deeds in ECDC-Mnquma Local Municipality deal

Apr 1, 2019
Butterworth families getting title deeds in ECDC-Mnquma Local Municipality deal

ECDC-owned Butterworth Township has 105 houses and eight vacant plots worth R5.7 million

Butterworth - A total of 105 families will be homeowners for the first time following a deal which has resulted in the Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC) transferring its ownership of Zithulele Township in Butterworth to the Mnquma Local Municipality.

The ECDC-owned township has 105 houses and eight vacant plots worth R5.7 million. As part of the agreement, ECDC has provided the municipality with a list of valid tenants, who have a right to take ownership of each property once the municipality effects the transfer.

The township was developed for the purpose of providing residential housing for workers who were employed at the nearby Zithulele Factories in Butterworth.

“This means once the transfer of ownership to Mnquma Local Municipality is finalised, the municipality will transfer the properties to the current indigent tenants. The tenants do not pay rates or rental on the residential properties. They will have title deeds for the first time which will enhance the dignity of these families.

The municipality will subdivide the houses and issue erf numbers to the individual properties. Mnquma Local Municipality has also agreed to waive the R500 000 in rates owed by ECDC to the municipality in respect of Zithulele Township. ECDC currently pays rates to the municipality on behalf of the township,” says ECDC chief executive officer Ndzondelelo Dlulane.

'Sale of stand-alone residential properties to improve ECDC’s commercial and industrial property portfolio'

The houses were initially built as two-bedroomed houses but many tenants have since extended the structures. The size of the standalone stands ranges from 300 to 600 square metres.

“The transfer of these stand-alone houses in Zithulele is line with the ECDC property strategy of unbundling non-core assets. This includes the sale of stand-alone residential properties whose proceeds are being used to improve ECDC’s commercial and industrial property portfolio.

"The R74 million Mthatha Garden Court upgrade is an example of the spin-offs of this strategy,” explains Dlulane.

Mnquma Local Municipality municipal manager Silumko Mahlasela says this landmark agreement is in line with the government’s developmental agenda of ensuring that the indigent have access to shelter.

“The agreement reached between Mnquma and ECDC is art of the government’s developmental agenda which seeks to ensure that ordinary South Africans and the previously disadvantaged are provided with shelter wherever possible.

The provision of housing is a basic human right thatis entrenched in the Constitution. This landmark agreement will not only restore the dignity of the residents of Zithulele but it also signals the transfer of land to its rightful owners,” says Mahlasela.

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