Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Paying for free housing

Minister Tokyo Sexwale has announced that the scheme to provide free housing for the poor will soon come to an end.

We were all poor once - and no-one offered us free housing once we had left home. Another answer to provision for the poor must be found.

Perhaps the German solution merits deeper investigation. From the 1870's onwards, when the German peasants wanted to move to the city, they could sell their 'tribal right' to land. This gave them cash to house themselves in the city. Those who did not wish to move could buy land with a state-funded mortgage. Germany never had shacks.

We need to allow people to sell their tribal rights to land - and use some of the money generated to pay the chiefs for their losses. That way some of the tribal land which is exceedingly arable can be brought under modern farming and make a contribution to our well-being, while those wishing to move to the cities would have the funds to do so.

No comments: