More than 20 years after South Africa entered its new era of democracy, the issue of land and home ownership for those previously disadvantaged by the Apartheid system is increasingly on the agenda, as the country prepares for new elections over the next two years.
In the fruit industry, there have been a number of events that have demonstrated the fruit community’s support for initiatives to address the imbalances of the past. The most recent of these was the transfer of home ownership to 58 Grabouw township residents.
The village of Grabouw lies in the Elgin fruit region where a substantial volume of South African apples and pears are grown. In partnership with the Free Market Foundation and sponsored by the Two-a-Day Group, one of the partners in the TruCape Group, and the Elgin Foundation, Theewaterskloof Municipality in the Western Cape handed over the title deeds, which officially transfered ownership to the registered occupants.
The initiative is named the Free Market Foundation’s Khaya Lam (My Home) land reform project and is aimed at the economic empowerment of township residents through home ownership, something previously denied them.
Derek Corder, trustee of the Elgin Foundation, said that the Foundation was approached by the TAD group to sponsor the first phase of the project.
“We are delighted to see this project reach fruition and remain excited to be part of the process of restoring dignity and pride in our poorer communities,” he said.
“This powerful initiative by our shareholder, Two-a-Day, that secures title deeds for residents, is a huge step towards delivering tangible economic benefits,” said Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing’s managing director Roelf Pienaar. “The dedicated efforts of Two-a-Day and the people behind the Khaya Lam project to overcome significant red tape, means that long-time residents have ownership and can bequeath their properties in their wills.”