Khaya Lam Land Reform Project: The end of land discrimination
Johannesburg- The Free Market Foundation (FMF) is the driving force behind the Khaya Lam land reform initiative, which aims to bring about a true end to land discrimination by assisting the transfer of title deeds to tenants currently occupying municipality owned land and houses under Apartheid era regulations. The pilot project in partnership with the Free State's Ngwathe Municipality, has seen over 300 deeds transferred to unrestricted fully tradable title.
This simple act is transforming the lives of black families, many of whom have lived as tenants or with restricted ownership for generations. It gives access to previously locked dead capital and gives hundreds of very poor people their first step towards true economic freedom and economic prosperity. Between 7 and 10 million black SA families still live as tenants or without full title. The Khaya Lam project has the backing of Free State Premier Ace Magashule and the support of all political parties in Ngwathe. FNB, too, has been a committed and enthusiastic sponsor of the project from the start.
At an FMF Khaya Lam event on March 11, Lee Mhlongo, CEO of FNB Housing Finance said, "When you talk to a lot of successful people or read biographies, it becomes quite evident that a significant number of these people's success was in some manner linked to their homes, e.g. garage startups, drawing on mortgages or using homes as part of the collateral in acquiring funding. Title deeds, over and above the usual known benefits, may just unlock the next Bill Gates in our very own back yard".
Dr Simphiwe Madikizela, Managing Executive for FNB Housing Finances added, "This is the right thing to do for South Africa. As FNB, we support this initiative wholeheartedly and are very committed and proud to be part of this. As - First - National Bank, we are living up to our name to be part of this pioneering project".
Sponsors play a crucial role. FNB sponsored the conversion of the first 100 title deeds and, through the First Rand Foundation, sponsored the work carried out by the FMF to make the project happen. Dr Christo Wiese (Chairman of Shoprite) is funding 200 title deeds (100 each in Ngwathe and in Cape Town). Smaller and individual sponsors have made the transfer of another 90 titles possible. At a modest cost of R1,850 per title deed, dead capital of more than an estimated R2 billion can be unlocked at no cost to the home owners.
Many farmers in the Free State have committed themselves to sponsoring title deeds for their workers, most of whom, today, live in the towns where they have easier access to schools and shops and can enjoy family life more fully. The farmers see this project as a way to reduce historical conflict between farmers and the workers who, in the past, would live as tenants on their land.
Currently discussions are underway with interested parties and provinces to roll out this initiative to their municipalities and provinces. Khaya Lam is a blueprint that can be readily taken up and adopted throughout the country.
On 15 April, a ceremony will be held in Parys, Free State, to hand over 220 more title deeds to home owners. Dr Wiese, senior representatives from Shoprite and FNB, and Premier Ace Magashule are expected to attend along with local dignitaries and officials. Contact the FMF media office below for details and an invitation.
Anyone interested in supporting the project can contact the Free Market Foundation at[email protected] or 011 884 0270.
1. Sponsorship Details
A total of 31 smaller sponsors have made the transfer of 90 titles possible, which have been converted to full tradable freehold title and will be handed over to recipients on 15 April 2015.
A young professional is paying for one title transfer per month and has already funded 10 title transfers.
Twenty four members of the Weiveld Farmers Association have undertaken to contribute R750,000 over a period to obtain 352 titles to properties for their workers who live in Ngwathe municipal housing and to donate a further 54 titles to other residents of Ngwathe municipal housing.
2. Titling to date
Initial 100 property titles sponsored by FNB completed (2013).
Further 220 property titles (various sponsors) completed and ready to be handed over to home owners on 15 April 2015.
100 Titles sponsored by Christo Wiese for Ngwathe residents transferred and the freehold property titles ready to be handed over to recipients on 15 April 2015.
100 Titles sponsored by Christo Wiese for Cape Town residents ready for transfer in arrangement with Cape Town Municipality.
First titles under the farmers' programme have been transferred.
There are more than 30,000 municipal owned rental houses and RDP houses in the Ngwathe area. An estimated 20,000 houses need to be converted to fully tradable freehold title under the Khaya Lam Land Reform Project.
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 see Facebook and Twitter
Statement issued by Jayne Boccaleone, Free Market Foundation, March 13 2015
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