RESIDENTS of Dwarsloop, outside Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga, can breathe a sigh of relief after their municipality handed out title deeds on Friday.

Speaking to residents, mayor Sylvia Nxumalo said the municipality was following the call made by the president during the state of the nation address.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said during the adress that people should own their land.

Said Nxumalo: “We have been on a drive to hand over title deeds to residents in areas such as Acornhoek, Shatale, Mkhuhlu, Thulamahashe and Dwarsloop.”

Nxumalo said there were 10 361 stands in Dwarsloop but only 953 people received their title deeds and 408 were still outstanding. “I want to warn residents: these title deeds are not a password into debts or loans. Receiving the title deeds means you’ll leave a legacy for your children” said Nxumalo.

One of the beneficiaries, Zodwa Maile, said she was happy to own a house after more than 15 years. “I had sleepless nights as I feared I might be chased away one day, but now I can extend my house and have enough shelter for my family.”

Recipient Frank Mkhatshwa said: “I’m happy I have the title deed and am a proud owner.”