The Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam Land Reform Project announced today that 3,059 title deeds to their homes have been presented to recipients since the project began in 2013, at no cost to the new title owners. This has been made possible through funding from generous sponsors and in close co-operation with the municipality in which the former rental homes are located. This is a historic milestone in reversing apartheid-era housing conditions and releases an estimated R306 million of former “dead capital” into the local economy. The 3,000 title mark was recently achieved through the generous support of Rising Tide Foundation (RTF), Switzerland. RTF sponsored 100 fully tradeable title deeds, turning registered tenants into proud property owners. These 100 transfers are the first of 1,500 transfers that RTF have committed to sponsor.
RTF director Joanna Stefanska said, “At Rising Tide Foundation we are working for a better future, a future of greater freedom, opportunity and well-being. We believe that every one of us plays an important role in cultivating a rising tide of change and the Free Market Foundation’s Khaya Lam project brings real change to communities. We are thrilled to not only have been in a position to sponsor the transfer of these initial 100 title deeds, but also to have been part of the process when the significant milestone of 3,000 title deeds transferred was reached”.
The Khaya Lam project continues to grow from strength-to-strength and, thanks to the generosity of private donors, the FMF has received funds to transfer a further 4,000 title deeds in various municipalities across South Africa. However, much more needs to be done as the FMF estimates that there are 5 million properties nationwide that are crying out to be converted to full unambiguous title.
FMF director Jasson Urbach said, “Securing property rights is a concrete step towards creating a freer and more prosperous society. We are immensely proud of our project and rely on the generous support of individuals and foundations such as Rising Tide Foundation to enable us to continue our work of ensuring that all municipal owned rental housing is transferred to its rightful owners.”
Under apartheid, black South Africans were forcibly removed from their land and were denied any opportunity to advance economically. Now, almost a quarter of a century after apartheid ended, the majority of black South Africans still do not own property and remain tenants of the government. The FMF launched the Khaya Lam land reform project to fight this injustice and transfers title deeds from government to tenants.