“WHEN people own their homes they take home tins of paint instead of bottles of brandy.  But for many black households a generation after apartheid ended little has changed; they still do not own their homes and kraals.  Land dispossession, apartheid’s greatest travesty, lives on.  Today, the Free State government, the Ngwathe Municipality, First National Bank (FNB) and the Free Market Foundation (FMF) are in effect injecting more than R10m into the economy of a small “township”, Tumahole, the Soweto of Parys. 

This partnership will empower residents, stimulate the local economy and drive a crucial nail into the apartheid coffin.  Two hundred residents will become owners of land and homes with an average value of more than R200,000, at no cost to themselves.  When FNB sponsored the FMF’s land titling pilot project four years ago it helped launch the Khaya Lam Project, which involves the transfer of the first 1,000 homes worth R100m to residents.  That is a conservative estimate.  In a normalised property market, average values might exceed R500,000″. 

Leon Louw’s column Land dispossession lives on, even a generation after apartheid has ended first appeared today on BDlive published by Business Day.