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The Central Commission for the Assessment and Sale of State Property is faced with a large number of incomplete cases where title deeds have not been collected, compromising the rapid completion of its work.
When the state property privatisation process began in 1992, the Administration of State Property (APIE) oversaw about 70 ,000 households, of which 68,000 have entered the transfer process and 63,000 been authorized.
According to Marcelino Salimo, the head of the Commission, about 44,000 titles have been issued to date, with the remainder in progress. Nearly five thousand homes have not yet been acquired by their tenants.
In Maputo, which has the highest housing stock, 32,000 titles with about 36,000 properties have been issued. A further 2,087 tenants in the capital have not proceeded to purchase.
Although conclusive data is not yet available, an evaluation of the process 25 years after its initiation shows that a considerable portion of the 30,000 tenants who have purchased their properties have not, for reasons unknown, completed the final steps.
“We gave these tenants a statement of the method of payment, but they did not initiate the process. And out of the 32,000 titles issued, we have 2,300 waiting to be collected,” Salimo said.
Another complication concerns owners who now hold title but have not registered with the Land Registry, meaning that these properties are still registered as State property.
The Commission says it is willing to assist families who still have cases pending or even those who have not yet begun the process so that they can buy the homes they live in, with the advantages that accrue.
The government has set a price of 200 meticais per square meter, meaning final costs are less than 20,000 meticais on average, far below the market prices. In Maputo’s Bairro Central neighbourhood, for example, a two-bedroom house costs between 10 and 15,000 meticais.
“The state should have completed this process by now. We do not understand why the remaining people are not finishing the purchases. This is a common situation, especially in Maputo, Beira and Nampula,” Salimo reports.
Once purchased and registered in the land registry, the property owner can sell it, mortgage it or include it among his real estate assets.
Salimo made it clear that collecting the title is free and that property registration at the Land
Registry is done by the tenant, without paid intermediaries.