VUT LAW CLINIC EMPOWERS THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES ON PROPERTY RELATED ISSUES
By: Selina Rapulane 06 October 2022
The Vaal University of Technology (VUT) Law Clinic in Sebokeng, in partnership with the Department of Human Settlements, Temba Attorneys, and Remax Estate Agents, recently held an information session, funded by Albert Wessels Trust (Toyota), for the surrounding communities on property-related matters, including buying, rental disputes and evictions.
The Information Session was hosted to allow residents from the Emfuleni Area to meet with relevant stakeholders who can give solutions to their pleas regarding housing and evictions. This networking opportunity was to enlighten the community more on services that are available for them, of which some are free, and how they can access them.
The 149 residents that attended, took this initiative to come and meet the different stakeholders to address their issues as this topic is too close to home and has affected some of them, personally or through their loved ones. Some have lost their homes due to buying illegal land, that led to demolishing of their properties, whereas some have rental disputes with their landlords/landladies to a point that they are worried about their own safety and those of their families.
“Thank you so much for making time to attend this information session to learn more about the right procedures when dealing with property and ways to dealing with unlawful evictions. You need to know and understand your rights, as well as legal help that is available for you”, said Ms Dimakatso Portia Dhlamini: Head and Principal of the VUT Law Clinic, as she opened the programme.
The first presentation by Ms Duduzile Zitha and Mr Brian Rogers from Remax Estate Agents, who assist buyers and seller, landlords and tenants. The agents informed the community that their responsibility is to act honestly, with integrity and with fair conduct. “It is important to note that there’s a lot of agents running around and not all of them have a Legal Practitioners Fidelity Fund Certificate. This is their ticket to show that they are registered with the Property Practitioners Regularity Authority. If an agent doesn’t have this certificate, you should not deal with them. This is for your own benefit so that you don’t fall for their scams.”, said Mr Rogers.
Furthermore, Ms Zitha added on the issue of property that, “Probably most of you are looking after your family homes because you are the only one left to inherit, one thing you need to do for yourself is to have a letter of executorship. That process requires you to go to High Court or Magistrate Court, depending on the value of the house. Another thing is that, when it comes to RDP Houses, you cannot sell it if you have not resided in it for over eight years and that is the law. Please make it a point that you research the property before purchasing because you might end up thinking you own the property whereas you don’t”.
Mr Brian Temba from Temba Attorneys provided legal advice to individuals who required proper representation in legal proceedings. He addressed the community on issues related to Title Deeds and registration of property.
The last speaker for the program, Mr Reholele Masiteng, who came on behalf of MMC for Human Settlements at the Emfuleni Municipality, informed the community that their mandate is to facilitate the creation of sustainable human settlements and improve the quality of household life. He encouraged the community to visit the municipal offices for issues relating to RDP houses as well as other issues concerning the municipality.
In concluding the event, there was a question-and-answer session to allow the audiences to find out more about certain topics and ask questions to each stakeholder for further clarity.
Mr Molopyane Sofonia Lethuba: Supervisory Attorney at the VUT Law Clinic, delivered the closing remarks. “To our guests and community members, thank you for honouring this invitation. We greatly appreciate you coming and part-taking in this information session and we hope that all your queries regarding property were attended to.”, he commented.