Title deed delay halts modifications

MMC of Health and Social Development, Mpho Phalatsi.

Politicians have a reputation of making promises to the electorate, especially in the run-up to elections. More often than not, they fail to keep their promises once they are elected to public office, leaving them with egg on their faces and frustrating those who elected them in the first place.

It is worse when such promises were made to people with disabilities as was the case with the Groom family in Lufhereng.

In May last year, the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development, Mpho Phalatse made a promise to speed up the family’s request to hand over their title so they could start extending their small RDP house which is decidedly inconvenient for bedridden Nandisa Groom who was born paralysed and suffers from the symptoms of cerebral damage.

Nandisa ingests food through a tube which runs to her stomach and her frail condition means that she is dependent on specialised porridge for her survival. She also needs diapers and towels to ensure that her sanitary needs are not neglected.

During Nandisa’s 14-year-old’s birthday celebration at the Groom family home in Lufhereng last year, during which Phalatse made the keynote address, she (Phalatse) said, “We have seen the bad conditions the Groom family living in.

“We are happy that the local church wants to help them to extend the house because it is small. However, before they can start with this, they should first obtain the title deed.

“I urge the family to send a letter requesting the title deed to my office so that we can hand it over to the relevant department to speed up the issuing of the deed for the family.”

Young Voice Academy (YOVA), who organised Nandisa’s birthday celebrations last year, wrote the letter on behalf of the family to the MMC’s office. According to YOVA founder Rapelang Semente, immediately after Nandisa’s birthday, they sent three emails to the City of Joburg requesting the title deed.

He said, “I personally sent emails to both MMC of Health and Social Development and the MMC of Housing. I sent another e-mail to Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba’s office.

“We have sent a total of three emails to the City of Joburg and we have records to prove it. To date, we do not know why there is a delay as the family have still not received their title deeds.”

Nandisa’s mother Nontokozo said she was disappointed that the promises made last year have still not materialised. She went to Department of Housing to collect the title deed but left their offices empty-handed.

MMC of Health and Social Development Mpho Phalatsi.

“They assured me that they would get back to us in January this year, but nothing has happened so far. My brother built a wall barricading our yard and wanted to build outside rooms. Without the title deed, he is unable to continue with the construction,” said Nontokozo.

The Dobsonville Urban News reporter contacted Mpho Phalatse who promised that her department would conduct an urgent follow-up with the department of housing to find out what is delaying the issuing of a title deed to the Grooms and promised that they would help the family.

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