On 14 October 2020, a further 162 fully tradeable free hold title deeds were presented to residents of Kwakwatsi, Ngwathe, Northern Free State, also known as Koppies.

Image credit: Free Market Foundation

Image credit: Free Market Foundation

This accomplishment was made possible through sponsorship received from Capitec Bank and with the partnership of the Free Market Foundation’s (FMF) Khaya Lam (My Home) Land Reform project, and the Ngwathe Municipality. New owners include 92-year old Mrs Radebe and 91-year old Mrs Mabaso who have waited all their lives to own their homes.

The presentation of the deeds was carried out in the Community Hall by Capitec’s Neptal Khoza, Head Corporate Social Investment, and Ellen-Anne Finnemore, along with Ngwathe Mayor, Ms Joey Mochela. The recipients were also provided with R600 worth of food parcels in a joint gift by Capitec and Pick ’n Pay, Norwood, Johannesburg. Lawyers Du Toit Mandelstam played a major role in the transfer of the deeds to rightful owners.

A title deed is a profoundly powerful tool, a game changer for millions of South Africa’s poorest citizens, unlocking dead capital into the hands of those who need it most and, through them, into the economy. Secure property rights represent one of the most important requirements for the protection of both economic freedom and civil liberties.

Speaking about Capitec’s role, Khoza said, “We are passionate about making meaningful contributions to the communities around us. The 162 title deeds we are presenting today will not only provide families with the security of their own home but also with an investment, which can be used as a platform to grow generational wealth. Additionally, we will be providing the beneficiaries of the title deeds with food parcels to help feed them and their families as we recognise that many of South Africa’s communities have been greatly affected by Covid-19.”

The uplifting story behind the food parcels is a testament to the desire of private companies to assist communities in need during the COVID lockdown. Capitec decided to add R500 food hampers for all 162 recipients but no supplier nearby could provide that much food. The management of Norwood Pick ’n Pay came to the rescue as well as adding another R100 worth of food to the hampers. A truck was hired to transport the food to Kwakwatsi.

Mayor Mochela said to the beneficiaries, “Capitec didn’t just bring a title deed to your home. It brought a magnificent food hamper as well. You can go home with your title deed and start cooking. Thank you Capitec. We want more of your support please. And thank you Khaya Lam. Don’t stop your work!”

Ngwathe is the birthplace of the Khaya Lam project. In 2013, under the leadership of Mayor Mochela, Ngwathe municipality resolved to become the first urban area in South Africa where all land would be privately held under full freehold on the basis of complete equality between whites and blacks. Since then, over 3500 fully tradeable title deeds are now in the hands of rightful owners, sponsored by generous donors like Capitec, not only unlocking the economic potential of the householders but also opening the door for large scale economic growth in Ngwathe and beyond. This translates into a capital injection of R420 000 000.

The goal of Khaya Lam is to undo the apartheid land disempowerment still endured by millions of South Africans.

FMF President Leon Louw said, “The devastating impact of 1913 land act on black South Africans has not yet been eradicated. Land dispossession and discrimination are justifiably regarded as being the single most racially divisive and economically devastating aspect of the apartheid crime again humanity.

Allowing black people to own their land and homes has been a lifelong passion of mine since my radical anti-apartheid student days. In 2010, with the first pilot project, Mayor Mochela’s Ngwathe municipality became South Africa’s proud leader of land titling. Ngwathe occupies a very special place in my heart.

Until all black people own their homes, apartheid’s ghost will torment us. The greatest damage apartheid inflicted on black compatriots was to deprive them of land. Today we celebrate another milestone on the long road to justice for all.

Holding fully tradeable freehold title is genuine economic empowerment for the occupiers and is a significant move to eradicate one of the evils of apartheid’s legacy that still lingers in South Africa today.”

Courtesy of Free Market Foundation