On Monday, 11 February 2019, I had the pleasure of distributing 36 title deeds to business owners and NGOs in Soweto, through the Joburg Property Company’s (JPC) Land Regularisation Programme (LRP).
This programme is an initiative by the City of Johannesburg to redress the distribution of council owned land.
The process of land regularisation is an important initiative, which, if tackled effectively will act as a catalyst for development benefiting communities, small enterprises and developers.
Its purpose is to redress some of the socio-economic inequalities associated with land and home ownership.
The programme is based on the recognition of the past reality that, as a matter of law in Apartheid South Africa, the majority had no secure tenure rights in urban areas. At best, black land tenure was inferior and regulated by either residential permits, certificates of occupation or trading site permits.
This programme converts insecure and inferior rights to full ownership rights.
This is the second time title deeds have been handed over to businesses in Diepkloof over the last nine months. The first 22 recipients that received title deeds became owners of business premises in Soweto that had been leased to them for about 30 years.
Today is yet another celebration as three churches, the Biblical Reformed Church in Riverlea, the Presbyterian Church of Africa in Orlando West and the Methodist Church of South Africa in Naledi, and 33 business owners receive full ownership of their premises.
Now, these beneficiaries can each have the security to build a strong foundation for themselves and for the future of their children. Theses title deeds provide them with security when growing their businesses. This gives longevity, knowing that future plans can be made beyond the lease period and it is a real chance to participate in the City’s economic growth.
I encourage these business owners to continue working hard to grow their businesses, and when they start employing more people, they will grow and empower their communities.
When the multiparty coalition government took over this administration in 2016, I made it clear that we would fast track the delivery of title deeds, create a business-friendly environment that attracts investors and entrepreneurs that lead to the creation of much needed jobs, and ultimately, achieve a 5% economic growth rate by 2021.
The current administration prioritises economic freedom and security through objectives like property ownership.
The City has worked hard to ensure the introduction of a number of new initiatives intended to stimulate Joburg’s economy and, in the process, kick-start a period of growth that will lead to sustained growth in jobs.
There is a focus on the fundamental requirements needed, including infrastructure renewal, service delivery stability, establishing the rule of law, and moving towards a more professional civil service, to create the right environment to foster economic and job growth in Johannesburg.