An incredible tally of titles deeds … April is a good month for FMF’s Khaya Lam titling project
April 2021 will be a landmark in the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam (My Home) initiative. Seven separate title deed ceremonies will have taken place between 31 March and 5 May 2021 as municipalities, in partnership with the FMF and with corporate and individual sponsors, move forward to catch up on presenting full title deeds, which was prevented by the Covid-19 restrictions during 2020. Pandemic restrictions mean that only a limited number of titles may be presented in person at each event, but all of the title deeds are real and powerful in the hands of the beneficiaries.
The Khaya Lam push to enable title deeds to all who should have them is gaining momentum and bearing fruit. Municipalities have learned from Khaya Lam and are now forging ahead on their own initiatives, especially in the Western Cape led by MEC for Human Settlements, Minister Tertius Simmers, himself a beneficiary of a title deed. On the strength of having received theirs, his parents used the collateral of home ownership to pay for his education and now he is a leader in South Africa’s Western Cape government. This indeed is the power of a title deed.
On 31 March, 68 titles were presented in Tumahole, Free State, sponsored by the Reinet Foundation.
On 13 April, in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, Western Cape, Remgro sponsored 166 titles.
On 14 April, 175 titles were received by new property owners courtesy of the Reinet Foundation, the Rising Tide Foundation (RTF), and others in Mokwallo, Free State.
Also on 14 April, 158 titles were put into the hands of new owners in Saldanha Bay, courtesy of Remgro Limited. WC Minister of Human Settlements, Tertius Simmers, presided.
Today, 21 April, the Rising Tide Foundation (RTF) and the Reinet Foundation sponsorship have enabled the presentation of 222 titles in Phiritona, Heilbron, Free State.
On 29 April, in light of upcoming Freedom Day (27 April), Stellenbosch municipality will present 71 titles, part of the Rupert Foundation sponsorship, in the Idas Valley Low Cost Housing project (Hillside Village).
On 5 May, in Kwakwatsi, Free State, Capitec Bank and other sponsors will make the presentation of 50 more titles possible.
The most recent event, on 21 April 2021, 222 full title deeds came into the possession of previous tenants at the Thuso Service Centre, in Phiritona, Ngwathe, and 97 year old Mrs Mokoena received her title. Almost a century after her birth in 1923, she is finally now truly economically free; a home owner in her own right. Among the 222, four other recipients are over 80 years old. Pictured below is Mr Rahaba, the grandson of 81 year old Mrs Rahaba, who died between applying and receiving her title. He said, “Through the spirits she (his grandmother) would be dancing in her grave".
Another very recent event held on 14 April, saw the Reinet Foundation, the Rising Tide Foundation, True South, and with the continued support from private individuals, Mr N Emerick and Mr C Laxton, and working with the Ngwathe Municipality under the leadership and unfailing commitment of Executive Mayor Ms Joey Mochela, enable 175 fully tradeable title deeds to be presented.
Mayor Mochela and Leon Louw, the FMF’s President and founder of the Khaya Lam project, presented title deeds to 20 recipients in person. The ceremony took place at the Multi-Function Centre in Mokwallo, Vredefort in the Free State.
Among the oldest recipients were Mrs M Mokone, Mrs SM Leeuw, and Mrs NL Ntileka, all of whom are over 90 years of age. A lifetime of waiting for justice.
In his address, Louw said that when he was a young radical anti-apartheid activist in the late 1960s, he was told that apartheid’s greatest crime against humanity was racist land dispossession.
“Black people were forced to live on land they could not own. Until black people own land they occupy, and might have occupied for generations, no one can say apartheid has ended. Today we celebrate another exciting step towards that dream,” he said.
He continued, “Khaya Lam has registered thousands of titles; millions more must be registered. Today apartheid victims arrive as tenants and leave as owners. They arrive without assets worth hundreds of thousands, and leave with them. They arrive disempowered and leave empowered. When people leave with homes they own, free of RDP pre-emptive clauses and other racist restrictions, they leave with dignity. I pay tribute to the wonderful and visionary sponsors, government officials, and Khaya Lam staff for this great transformative enriching, empowering and liberating event.”
On April 13, the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Human Settlements, Councillor Malusi Booi, and other dignitaries presented title deeds to beneficiaries in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, as part of its efforts to enable redress and transformation.
“It was a joyous occasion to celebrate with our beneficiaries today. A title deed is proof of ownership. You can only sell a property if you are the owner and you have proof in the form of a title deed. We wish our beneficiaries all the best for the future,” said Councillor Booi.
Temba Nolutshungu, FMF Director, said, “It is thanks to the sponsors, Remgro, whose generosity and empathy have made possible the funding of the conveyancing services and other related costs, and all those dedicated officials who have made this day possible. Khaya Lam has experienced amazing collaboration with everybody and the result is this event where people receive their title deeds. These assets are now part of the national economy. A most glorious day.”
In Tumahole, also in the Ngwathe municipality, Wednesday 31 March 2021, would have been a life changing day for the late Mrs Dhlamini who, at 82 years old, was due to receive her title deed. Unfortunately, she did not get her chance to say proudly that she is a home-owner, but she can rest in peace having left this legacy for her children and grandchildren. Another elderly recipient was Mrs Hlati, 73.
Presenting the deeds, executive Mayor of Ngwathe Municipality, Joey Mochela lauded the role of Khaya Lam in her district. “I remember the first 100 deeds being presented in 2013 and it has now grown to 3,914 title deeds. I appeal to Khaya Lam and the Free Market Foundation not to stop the good work that they do.”
Chris Hattingh, deputy director at the FMF, told those present that the recognition of property rights is a crucial ingredient for any society to achieve some level of prosperity. Property rights have been part of every tribe, every culture, every community, in some form, throughout the centuries.
“It is only right, it is only just, that through programmes such as Khaya Lam, we continue to undo the injustices perpetrated by the past and pursue land reform in a way that recognises the dignity of the people who are the most important – you the homeowners,” he said.