Property ownership can help unlock real freedom‚ says Maimane

28 April 2018 - 09:27 By Timeslive
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File photo.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane. File photo.

Twenty-four years ago 20 million South Africans voted freely‚ but they were not free yet‚ Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said on Friday‚ Freedom Day.

Speaking in Soshanguve at the Thorntree housing development‚ he said that true freedom came with economic inclusion‚ and that included owning property with full title deeds.

“Property ownership is about much more than simply having a roof over your head. It’s about building an investment in your future … it means that you can unlock capital to realise your dreams.”

He said most young black South Africans had to start from scratch because they did not have the advantage that most white people have: an inheritance.

“If we want to break the cycle of poverty that still entraps so many black people in South Africa‚ then we have to start building the cycle of ownership‚” said Maimane. “That’s real freedom.”

On the issue of land the DA leader said: “Expropriating land so that the state can own it and lease it out to the poor won’t empower anyone. Living in your house or on your farm as a tenant of the state is just another way to keep people trapped in poverty.”

The DA’s ultimate goal is for South Africans to own their houses or farm land as a step to “financial freedom and independence” and “to be able to pass it on to your children”.

He said that in the fight for democracy and equality‚ leaders such as Nelson Mandela chose to build one South Africa for all.

But “ours is still a deeply unjust and unequal society. And ours is still a society infected with racism and prejudice. It must be our focus to heal our country‚ both economically and socially.”

He blamed the ANC’s policies for economic exclusion.

“Black South Africans aren’t poor because they are black. They are poor because they are still enslaved by a system that keeps them poor‚” Maimane said. “This system is no longer apartheid or colonialism. This system is a set of policies‚ written and implemented by the ANC government that has failed our country in every possible way.”

The economy had to be rebuilt to include those who’ve been excluded‚ the land issue must be resolved within the framework of the Constitution and the basic education system mended “so that our children are not left behind”.