Transfers of land can unlock dead capital - Leon Louw

ELECTIONS are an "advance auction of stolen goods", said HL Mencken. And, according to Otto von Bismarck, the biggest lies are told before the marriage, after the hunt and during the election.

Now that our election is behind us, pray for politicians not to keep promises, because they usually amount to saying that everyone will be enriched at everyone else’s expense. A rare exception is Free State Premier Ace Magashule, who does have a way to enrich voters at no-one’s expense.

How can he perform such a miracle? He, like politicians worldwide, presides over "dead capital" with which votes can be "bought", as his Democratic Alliance (DA) adversary put it.

In support of a Free Market Foundation (FMF) initiative, Magashule distributed a symbolic 100 full titles, 100 years after the notorious 1913 Natives Land Act, to residents of Tumahole "township" in the northern Free State last year. He continues distributing titles and, despite opposition by an African National Congress executive member, wants his province to be the first in which all "black" land is owned under the same unambiguous freely tradable title as historically "white" land. Until that happens, it cannot be said the 1913 act has truly been abolished.

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