Time to get rid of the apartheid township
If South Africans want to see townships become middle-class suburbs, we must address ownership, writes Martin van Staden
Municipal government throughout SA continues to own upwards of five-million urban plots currently occupied by previously disadvantaged individuals. Many of these individuals, denied in the past the right to own any property by the apartheid government, have lived on these properties for their entire lives. The problem with this state of affairs is that 22 years after the end of apartheid, these individuals are still accepted as being mere tenants rather than property owners. Yet there are civil society organisations that continue to push for more government ownership of property, rather than ownership by the people. The Free Market Foundation embraces the concept that ownership does not only lead to immense economic benefits but also implies dignified living for the owner. In Africa, individuals and communities used to have a very close relationship with the land they lived on. During the colonial era, however, the Eurocentric institution of "expropriation" burst onto the scene, whi...
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