17 October 2018

South Africa: Title Deeds for All - Nice Idea Versus Complex Praxis


A recent spate of articles in Daily Maverick and other media on the pros and cons of issuing title deeds to the estimated 60% of the "untitled" population suggests there is a sustained debate on the way. This is a good thing. Land tenure and land rights have been lost in the controversies around expropriation, begging the question of how existing off-register rights, as well as new rights, to land should be legally recognised. Sadly, the trajectory of the debate suggests that the issue is deeply polarised and mired in ideological considerations, with an alarming lack of understanding by many of the actual verifiable conditions on the ground. Participants often talk at cross-purposes and miss the nuts and bolts of what 'title' actually means.

On 6 September 2018 Chris Hattingh, Martin van Staden and Mpiyakhe Dhlamini of the Free Market Foundation responded to an article about land titling by Professor Ben Cousins based at the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), UWC, on 29 August. On 20...

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