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The FMF is an independent, non-profit, public benefit organisation, created in 1975 by pro-free market business and civil society national bodies to work for a non-racial, free and prosperous South Africa. As a policy organisation it promotes sound economic policies and the principles of good law. As a think tank it seeks and puts forward solutions to some of the country’s most pressing problems: unemployment, poverty, growth, education, health care, electricity supply, and more. The FMF was instrumental in the post-apartheid negotiations and directly influenced the Constitutional Commission to include the property rights clause: a critical cornerstone of economic freedom.
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Khaya Lam: when ‘my home’ really is my home
Three more families achieve economic freedom
thanks to Khaya Lam
Three more families granted title deeds
through Khaya Lam initiative
“All these years we were not in possession of a title deed, it was impossible to live in our home freely, with no reservations. But now we can at last sleep peacefully at night, knowing we have full property ownership of our home.”
Finally, more than 25 years after they built it, registered nurse Ellen Dunywa (44) and her police officer husband William (49) own their home in Tumahole township, 2km outside the small Free State town of Parys.
For the Tlaka, Dunywa and Bala families, an apartheid injustice was finally corrected in March this year when they received title deeds giving them official ownership of their homes.
This is thanks to the Free Market Foundation (FMF) in partnership with the Ngwathe Local Municipality in Parys.
FMF has thus far facilitated and funded through private sponsorship the process of turning 6,268 council tenants into homeowners, at no cost to the recipient, through the Khaya Lam (which means “my home”) Land Reform Project. Home ownership and a tradeable title deed supports economic activity and revitalisation of the country’s economy.
The Dunywa couple, who were both born and raised in Tumahole, obtained the piece of land on which their home stands – and in which they raised their two children, now aged 15 and 20 – in the early 1990s. Owning it at last has given them not only peace of mind, but access to other benefits.
“I am also able to finally enjoy my full employment benefits such as a housing allowance, which I couldn’t before without a title deed. We are just overjoyed and will forever be grateful to Khaya Lam,” says Ellen Dunywa.
Tumahole, like other former “townships”, is home to thousands of residents who live as tenants in council-owned homes. There are an estimated 5 million council tenants country-wide. The Khaya Lam project dreams of turning each of these into homeowners.
A 40-year-old single mother of two boys, Daphne Bala, says the process of acquiring her title deed was quick and simple because of the Khaya Lam initiative.
“I received a stand in 2011, and for the next two years, I built myself a home. We moved into our new home in 2013 and have been settled since,” says Bala, who in 2019 began the process of acquiring her title deed; that’s when she heard about the Khaya Lam project.
“I must say, it didn’t take long for the whole process to happen; it was an easy and simple experience for me. By late 2020, we were told that we would receive our title deeds soon.”
Indeed, just a few months later, Bala would be a certified home owner, which meant security for her children.
“I was elated that finally my children would have a home and God forbid, even after I’m gone, no one can ever kick them out of their family home. Furthermore, although I am not working, my children and I have a roof over our heads, a basic human right many South Africans do not enjoy,” Bala says.
For Tshepo Tlake, his title deed meant finally completing a huge project his mother had started.
Tlake’s home had belonged to his mother, Mamotshwauwa, who obtained the piece of land just a few years after South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994. Slowly but surely, she built a family home for her children. But she passed away in 2009, without ever having a title deed.
Today, however, her son stands tall and proud knowing that the legacy his mother created is not in vain.
“My wife and I moved into the home with our children in 2011. In 2012, we began the long and tedious journey of trying to secure a title deed, with no luck,” Tlake recalls.
His wife, Moitsadi, adds: “We had even given up on the prospect of ever having a title deed.”
Then one day in 2020, the couple received a life-changing telephone call from the local municipality.
“Someone from the municipal offices told us about Khaya Lam, and that they (Khaya Lam) would help us obtain our title deed. At first we were sceptical, unable to believe that after so many years of trying, this issue would be solved just like that,” Moitsadi says.
But sure enough, just a few months later, they were called to go collect what they had longed for.
“We couldn’t believe it! We were over the moon that the process was done finally. We feel privileged and a sense of pride that we have property in our names. I know that my mother would have been so delighted and proud of this moment, especially after she worked so hard to build this home,” beams Tlake.
For FMF Director Temba Nolutshungu, these stories are what Khaya Lam is all about.
“Home ownership gives people security, dignity and economic freedom, offering them and their loved ones not just the hope of a better life, but the reality of it. At the Free Market Foundation we empower individuals personally and economically, and Khaya Lam is an ideal example of the work we do. Time and again, we’ve seen the difference Khaya Lam has made to the people we assist. And we never, ever get tired of seeing their joy,” says Nolutshungu.