5 October 2017
Parys, 04 October 2017
– In a powerful initiative to extend home ownership to more underprivileged South Africans, Standard Bank has through its key sponsorship paved the way for 100 title deeds to be issued to former occupiers of council properties in the community of Kwakwatsi, Koppies, in the Free State. These 100 residents will enter as tenants and walk out as home owners. A title deed and home ownership is the first step towards true economic empowerment.
Free Market Foundation (FMF) executive director Leon Louw said, “Although once a thriving town with many small businesses, today Kwakwatsi is seriously economically deprived with unemployment and hardship clearly visible. There is no better place for Standard Bank to put its money. The FMF is delighted to partner with them”.
With the 1913 Land Act banning ownership by black South Africans, the objective of the Free Market Foundation’s Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform Project is to assist in having all council-owned properties countrywide upgraded to full freehold title.
“This is an important step towards giving many more people in our country the full benefits, security and pride associated with owning a home. There is a long journey ahead to achieving land reform in our country, but if more people get involved we can make significant strides together in uplifting the lives of our citizens,” says Andrew van der Hoven, Head of Home Loans – Standard Bank.
Louw said, “Black land deprivation was probably the single worst element of the colonial and apartheid eras and little has changed since 1994. Between 5 million and 7 million black and coloured families still live as tenants or without ownership rights in houses they have lived in for generations. There has been no systematic conversion of these ‘council owned’ and ‘traditional community’ properties to full, unrestricted ownership”.
The bank is sponsoring today’s transfer of 100 title deeds in the presence of local government dignitaries. The occupiers of the houses are from an era where black people, with their own funds, built houses on council property with no prospect of ever receiving a title deed.
While the arduous process of a land audit is still winding its way through parliament – phase two of the report is due to be processed by Cabinet at the end of October – citizens are seeking solutions today.
The Free Market Foundation, a non-profit public benefit organization, says that an absence of information is holding back full details of missing title deeds and the ability to properly audit land in SA.
“Standard Bank is really excited to be able to support this initiative and partner with important stakeholders to make a difference as we hand over these 100 title deeds to proud, new home owners,” says Andrew.
The title deeds will be presented personally by the deputy mayor of Ngwathe Municipality, and Boitumelo Phungwayo – head of Affordable Housing Products & Strategic Partners at Standard Bank PBB Products.
The 100 new home owners
Youngest and oldest new homeowners: P Marumo aged 31 and M Moranye aged 82
Andrew van der Hoven – Standard Bank, Executive Head: Home Loans SA
Temba Nolutshungu - Director, Free Market Foundation
The FMF’s Khaya Lam (My House) Project
The FMF’s pilot project, which began in the Free State’s Ngwathe, has seen nearly 1400 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 provides hundreds of very poor people their first step towards true economic freedom and economic prosperity. Many farmers in the Free State and elsewhere have committed to sponsoring title deeds as a means to reduce historical conflict between famers and workers living as tenants on their land. The FMF is creating a blue print to be replicated throughout SA.