In celebration of Human Rights Day, the partnership between the Stellenbosch Municipality and the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform Project, and sponsored by Dr Johann Rupert and his wife Gaynor, presented another 50 fully tradeable title deeds to new homeowners in the Mooiwater community, in Franschhoek, Western Cape.
There can be no greater human right than rightfully owning one’s home.
The title deeds ceremony took place on Thursday 18 March at 10am. In deference to Covid-19 protocols, various Council teams* presented the life changing title deeds walking in procession to the beneficiaries’ houses.
Practising social distancing, Stellenbosch Executive Mayor Advocate Gesie van Deventer, her team, and FMF Director Temba Nolutshungu, were able to engage personally with the new homeowners.
Adv van Deventer made a commitment to ensure the transfer of title deeds when she took office in 2016. She has said that in South Africa, the ability to be able to own property is considered a basic right and that worldwide there is a clear relationship between property ownership, or the lack thereof, and levels of poverty. “Where people are secure in their ownership of a property it allows for the facilitation of economic transactions, more efficient and sustainable resource use, and for people to access credit markets".
To assist the new home owners in understanding the real benefits and power of their title deeds, the Stellenbosch municipality prepared Title Deed Packs including:
- Original title deed
- Owner’s booklet issued by Khaya Lam / Free Market Foundation in English / isiXhosa / Afrikaans
- Key holder with emergency contacts
- Fridge magnet with emergency contacts
- Letter from the Executive Mayor
- Letter from Khaya Lam / Free Market Foundation
Temba Nolutshungu, FMF Director, called on the advice of a well-known financial advisor and author, "The words of Suze Orman sum up the socioeconomic and emotional significance of owning a home as follows “owning a home is a keystone of wealth…both financial affluence and emotional security".
He continued, "Once more through the generous sponsorship by the Rupert family, and the partnership between the highly efficient Stellenbosch Municipality, the conveyancers who believe in the cause of the Khaya Lam project, and the Free Market Foundation, this important event underscores the overall significance of legal freehold titled home ownership. By this fact alone the recipients own a part of the national economy of the country".
A title deed makes a profound difference in the lives of the holders enabling them to improve their living standards, raise loans from banks to educate their children, start small businesses, access better healthcare and more. Homeowners contribute to the overall economic upliftment of a community.
In partnership with Khaya Lam and the municipality, Johann and Gaynor Rupert are making a tangible difference to the lives of ordinary South Africans and especially the poorest people living in the Stellenbosch area. Dr Rupert has said that it is easy to give away money but, “…more difficult to find organisations that spend the time to use the funds properly and efficiently,” and he has commended the FMF and Khaya Lam for their ability to do this.
To date, the Ruperts have sponsored 1,000 titles in Stellenbosch and 1,000 in Graaff Reinet where Dr Rupert’s father Anton was born. To date, over 697 title deeds have been presented in Stellenbosch. The Ruperts have pledged a further 10,000 titles.
For over 40 years the Free Market Foundation (FMF) has championed the cause of converting the various forms of apartheid titling found in the townships to full, unambiguous ownership for township residents deprived of their dignity and rights under apartheid by facilitating the conversion of council owned rental properties into freehold title - at no cost to the recipients.
* Executive Mayor, Adv Gesie van Deventer & team : 5 Title deeds to the eldest recipients in Sunflower Street.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Nyaniso Jindela & team : 17 Title deeds in Orchid Street, Lavender Street, Jacaranda Street, Sunflower Street and Beacoup de Leau Street.
Speaker, Cllr Wilhelmina Petersen & team : 16 Title deeds in Cypress Close, Lavender Street, Bellflower Street, Fenne Street and Aloe Street.
Ward Councillor, Cllr Aldridge Frazenburg & team : 9 Title deeds in Everlasting Street and Fern Street.