Khaya Lam Land Reform Project Media Release
Dr Christo Wiese and other donors sponsor freehold property title conversions for residents of Ngwathe, Free State
Wednesday, 15 April 2015
On Wednesday, 15 April 2015, in another momentous step, the Khaya Lam Land Reform project delivered property ownership and prosperity to 159 more Ngwathe, Free State, families deprived of ownership rights by apartheid, and announced pledges of free hold titles for more than 200 other tenants in Ngwathe.
The Khaya Lam Land Reform initiative is a partnership between the Ngwathe Municipal Council and the Free Market Foundation (FMF). This latest hand out of title deeds was made possible through sponsorship received from Dr Christo Wiese and his family, and various other donors. Dr Wiese, who personally handed over 100 title deeds to Ngwathe beneficiaries, has also sponsored another 100 designated for Cape Town.
Founding sponsor FNB announced that, in addition to their initial 100 handed out in 2014, there are 200 more conversions in the pipeline. Other announcements made were by two local farmers who were sponsoring seven titles each for their workers and by the Weiveld farmers who would be sponsoring title deeds for twenty seven non-farmworker community members. Within the next few months, the Khaya Lam project will have completed approximately 700 property title conversions - all at no cost to the individual recipients.
Khaya Lam, which is transformation through ownership, has the backing of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the support of all political parties in Ngwathe. A title deed is a profoundly powerful tool, a game changer for millions of this country’s poorest citizens. It can unlock dead capital into the hands of those who need it most and through them, into the economy.
Khaya Lam or ”My home” is an initiative that seeks to reverse the evils of the apartheid system, which prevented blacks from owning property and accessing the financial benefits that full titles brought to the white community. For such a system to prevail today across most of South Africa is an anachronism of the past. For this reason, the FMF, together with local authority partners and sponsors, is working towards creating a blueprint which can be extended across the whole country to get rid of an apartheid legacy and create property owning communities who can decide for themselves how, when, and why to sell, transfer or hold onto their own property.
Dr Wiese said, “This initiative holds the promise of beig absolutely transformatative in the South African context. What makes this particularly exciting is that it is an initiative in which all South Africans can participate”.
Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, Managing Executive for Special Projects and Retail Sales at FNB Housing Finance, said, “FNB is proud of being the founding sponsor and partner with the FMF who conceived the land reform initiative through the registration of titles to the rightful owners in 2008. Even more exciting for us, is the leveraging effect of having more partners coming on board to ensure that this wonderful initiative is scaled up and accelerated. We hope that, in the future, we can all look back and point to the much needed economic transformation in terms of property development that the Ngwathe local municipality is witnessing today”.
Ngwathe Mayor Ms Joey Mochela spoke about how the positive partnership with the FMF is bringing benefits to local residents and of the enthusiasm that this initiative is generating in the community.
Smaller and individual sponsors, including farmers, are making 190 title transfers possible. The cost of converting one property to freehold title is a modest R1,850. The transfer of Ngwathe’s municipal rental housing stock into the hands of former tenants could release an estimated R2 billion of much-needed capital into the local economy, which currently suffers a high level of poverty and unemployment.
All partners agree that informing the new homeowners on how to manage their new asset is a vital part of the Khaya Lam project.
1. Photographs are available
2. Potential sponsors, individuals and companies, are sought. Contact perryfeldman @fmfsa.org - 082 557 8130
3. Dr CH (Christo) WIESE (73) short biography BA LLB D.Comm (h.c.) Univ of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Dr Wiese is chairman of Pepkor Holdings (Pty) Limited and Shoprite Holdings Limited, respectively Africa’s largest clothing and food retailers with a combined footprint across Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond. The portfolio has approximately 6000 stores in 24 countries and employing more than 150,000 people.
He has numerous other investments and interests including:
· A significant interest in Steinhoff International Holdings (which recently acquired the Pepkor Group);
· A controlling stake in Brait SE (an investment holding company);
· Tradehold Ltd (UK based property investment company);
· Invicta Holdings Ltd (a significant player in the South African agricultural and earthmoving equipment, bearing, transmission and industrial equipment industries).
Dr Wiese also owns Lourensford Wine Estate, a producer of internationally acclaimed wines located in one of South Africa’s top wine producing regions and he is owner of a game reserve (140,000 acres) in the Kalahari.
One of Africa’s four wealthiest business personalities, he is married to Caro and they have one son and two daughters, who are involved in the family’s various business interests.
The FMF is an independent, non-profit, public benefit organisation, created in 1975 by pro-free market business and civil society national bodies to work for a non-racial, free and prosperous South Africa. As a policy organisation it promotes sound economic policies and the principles of good law. As a think tank it seeks and puts forward solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems: unemployment, poverty, growth, education, health care, electricity supply, and more. The FMF was instrumental in the post-apartheid negotiations and directly influenced the Constitutional Commission to include the property rights clause: a critical cornerstone of economic freedom.
The FMF has a wealth of information in papers, articles and opinion pieces available on the website which can influence the public debate and present alternative policies to the people of South Africa. Please look at our website www.freemarketfoundation.com. Also seeFacebook and Twitter
Statement issued by the Free Market Foundation, April 15 2015
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