Human progress, prosperity and happiness as a consequence of economic growth

It is a reality of human nature that across all cultures all people perpetually strive to make improvements in their socioeconomic circumstances. A dream that all human beings strive to achieve.

An opportunity to eradicate poverty and can come in a form of a job, education or even becoming a home-owner after an awfully long wait. The land reform initiative project called Khaya Lam (My Home) aims at advocating and promoting economic freedom.

It is in the interests of business and therefore the national economy that their associations advocate a policy environment that will be conducive to the unleashing of the spirit of enterprise and thus business growth, and to address the challenges that the country faces.

The Khaya Lam project aims to change people's lives for the better. As a property titling initiative, it facilitates the conversion of tenant-occupied property into freehold legally titled home ownership.

For the project to be a success, we work in close collaboration with other important parties  such as law firms, the business sector and private individuals, who commit their time and other resources for the recipients of legally registered freehold title deeds to become home-owners.

It is especially vital for the local government of South Africa to co-operate and adopt this policy, as it owns most of the property that black people, especially those who have been living in as tenants for generations.

Bureaucratic impediments

The current state of affairs where millions of black South Africans are still encountering bureaucratic impediments to realising their property rights in the form of home ownership, is a residual consequence of pernicious legislation such as the Glen-Grey Act of 1894 and the Natives' Land Act of 1913, that dispossessed blacks of property ownership.

Khaya Lam is focussed on circumventing bureaucratic encumbrances and reversing the historical damage and pain caused.

In the process eventually the following occurs: the tenant becomes the owner; the house becomes a home; the home becomes an economic asset of the national economy.

Further, when the house is being extended or renovated or, in some cases, when it is demolished and a new one is built in its place, artisans such as bricklayers, cement plasterers, carpenters, plumbers, welders and their handymen are employed and skill transfers occur.

When this process is unlocked, the spirit of enterprise rises to the fore and the business sector is shown to generate profits which means more employment and more wealth is created.

This is the defining raison d’être and business should not be shy to emphatically acknowledge this as a virtue. In the process, jobs and wealth are created as all businesses vie for satisfying consumer demand for products and services.

Business excellence and growth

The direct consequence of the competition to please the consumer is business excellence and business growth.

At the core of this is the concept of economic freedom as defined in terms of the right of personal choice of people and enterprises with its personal responsibility consistent with freedom to compete, voluntary exchange, and protection of private property.

When this policy of radical economic transformation is adopted and implemented, South Africa will be placed on an upward trajectory of high economic growth, with all the socioeconomic benefits that directly follow. Families who cannot afford college fees yet will be able to use their homes to apply for student loans.

Studies such as the Fraser Institute's yearly Economic Freedom of the World Report have shown a close relationship between economic freedom and economic growth. For example, the higher the level of economic freedom, the higher the economic growth.

Economic freedom with secure property rights

When countries embrace economic freedom, underpinned by secure property rights, the enabling environment gives birth to the following results: a significantly higher GDP per capita with the subsequent downstream benefits of higher employment; better education; higher incomes; better hospital care; higher living standards; longer life spans.

In other words, all the positive indices that define a happy and prosperous nation. The way to achieve all these highly desirable goals is for policymakers to remove their ideological statist blinkers and to study empirical evidence.

They will then realise that by allowing businesses, big or small, formal or informal, to pursue their profits and people thereby being enabled to pursue and realise their socioeconomic aspirations so long as their endeavours and conduct do not entail force or fraud, the positive consequences will be dramatic.

This is the fountain of human progress that will result in happiness for the greatest number of people in the shortest possible time.

This article was first published on BusinessBrief on 2 December 2020
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