Public/Private partnership delivers 115 titles deeds to impoverished town of Edenville, Ngwathe, Free State
On 15 October, 115 residents were the first to receive full title deeds in the town of Edenville, Ngwathe, Free State. Sponsored by BetterBond, together with Ngwathe Municipality and the FMF’s Khaya Lam (my home) initiative, this is a genuine community project made possible by a public/private partnership to bring economic upliftment to a highly impoverished town. The 115 recipients walked into the presentation hall as tenants and left as home owners. The Edenville title deeds project is an example of what can be achieved when local government and private enterprise work in partnership.
The ceremony took place in the NG Church Hall, Edenville, Ngwathe, where the title deeds were presented by BetterBond CEO, Carl Coetzee, and Ngwathe Executive Mayor, Joey Mochela.
With few job opportunities and scarce local amenities, these title deeds will bring an economic boost to Edenville, one of South Africa’s poorest communities. Title deeds make a tangible difference to the lives of ordinary South Africans and deliver real economic and social transformation through property ownership, enabling owners to borrow funds from commercial banks to start small business, improve their living standards, and educate their children. Sponsor and organiser Betterbond has used local catering and other resources to extend the benefits of the event to as many as possible.
Khaya Lam directly assists 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 or the local council.
In his address, BetterBond CEO Carl Coetzee said, “All of us at BetterBond are passionate about homeownership in South Africa. We dream of a world where every family can have a home of their own and each day we aim to make this dream come true, changing lives for the better, one home at a time. This is why we joined together with Khaya Lam to bring title deeds to Edenville. It is a privilege for us to know that in some small way we helped 115 families onto the path of economic prosperity because a title deed is so much more than a piece of paper or even a piece of land or a house. It means dignity. It means financial security. It means there is hope for the future. We are on a journey with Khaya Lam. We are committed to changing more lives in the Edenville community and playing a big role in making sure that one community after another benefits from the project so that many more South Africans have the title deeds to their own homes.”
FMF Executive Director Leon Louw said, "The presentation of title deeds to rightful owners who have lived as tenants in their own properties is always a poignant and inspiring event. BetterBond, and other Khaya Lam funders, are sponsoring the most profound reversal of apartheid possible: title deeds for black victims of the apartheid land dispossession legacy. A generation after apartheid, most black people do not yet own their land.”
Executive Mayor Mochela said, “Initiated in Ngwathe Municipality, the FMF’s Khaya Lam historic project has made impressive progress with 2,594 titles presented to their rightful beneficiaries in Ngwathe so far. Our goal is approximately 12,000 homes. This ambitious but achievable project is neither guaranteed nor automatic and can only be accomplished with much hard work by my staff and the diligence of the FMF. Many NGOs do very good work around the country, but this is the first project that seeks to redress past injustices by ensuring that people have security for their most valuable asset – their home. Fund raising is never easy, but I would urge foundations, companies, and individuals to respond generously to any appeal for funding for such critically important work.”
Titling in South Africa is a painstaking process, complicated by a lack of records of ownership and bureaucratic complexity. Each area has its own issues and complications. It takes time and commitment to work through individual difficulties to eventually be able to present the right title deed to the right recipient. It requires sponsors like BetterBond who are willing to fund this process.
For more than 40 years the FMF has championed the cause of converting the numerous forms of Apartheid title found in the townships to full, unambiguous ownership for the current tenants. To date, Khaya Lam has facilitated 8,149 title deeds, unlocking some R1bn of “dead capital”. Khaya Lam is providing a blueprint of what can happen throughout South Africa