Long-time Grabouw residents become home-owners with title deeds

Theewaterskloof Municipality mayor, Christel Vosloo, with an emotional Martha Truter, at the title deeds handover ceremony in Elgin last year.

Few things contribute as much to human dignity as owning your own home. But, for many long-time residents in the Grabouw apple and pear farming communities, their homes haven’t actually belonged to residents, until now.

In November last year, Theewaterskloof Municipality mayor, Christel Vosloo, presented 76 title-deeds for properties in which residents have lived for many years. Facilitated by Khaya Lam, a project of the Free Market Foundation (FMF), donations by Two-a-Day, parent company of Tru-Cape Fruit Marketing, together with the Elgin Foundation, helped make the transfer of title deeds possible.

Two-a-Day group managing director, Attie van Zyl, said that the company will assist in 30 new title deeds transfers this year, while the Elgin Foundation will contribute costs to securing 50 new titles. 

“We don’t understand the positive difference this makes in the lives of people”, he says. “Now, with the title deeds to their homes, people can leave a legacy to their heirs; use the property as collateral for a loan and even sell it, none of which is possible without title deeds.”

Mr Van Zyl says that the Khaya Lam project is “life changing for beneficiaries.”

The Khaya Lam project has cut the titling cost by two-thirds. The FMF decided to become directly involved in the titling process and turned to generous South Africans for funding. The Khaya Lam Land Reform Project was set up to carry out the task. The cost of titling a modest house with an average value of R100 000 is advertised at about R6 500. The current Khaya Lam cost is R2 250, which includes the cost of all the administration, fund raising and titling costs. 

Tru-Cape managing director, Roelf Pienaar, says that Two-a-Day’s long association with the Khaya Lam project and a host of other community-orientated endeavours has a far reaching impact even beyond South Africa where international customers also monitor and appreciate their efforts. “Not only are the good-news stories that come out of agriculture important to us in South Africa but also to the person selecting a Tru-Cape apple in Germany or an Abate Fetel pear at their supermarket in London.” he says.