ShapeShifter

How to create a new, 12-million strong capitalist class with the stroke of a pen

(Click here for more "Shapeshifter" articles such as this one.)

“If we gave everybody who lives in an informal township title deeds to their home we would, with the stroke of a pen, make land owners of eight to 12-million South Africans,” says former Proudly SA CEO Leslie Sedibe.

Sedibe believes by giving title deeds to people who live in their homes government will have created the first building blocks of a brighter financial future.

“I was born in Alex so I know that it’s expensive to build a shack, believe it or not. Even so; if you wanted to start a business the bank will laugh at you if you offered your shack as collateral."

Sedibe mentions the work of famed Peruvian economist Hernando de Soto which analyses why some countries succeed at capitalism while others fail.

De Soto argues that success is not determined by cultural differences, but has everything to do with the legal structure of property rights. Developing nations such as South Africa must – just like every rich nation at an earlier point in their development – transform informal, extra-legal property ownership into a formal, unified and legal property system. In this way millions of poor people will, for the first time, have an asset that can be turned into real wealth.

(Click here for more "Shapeshifter" articles such as this one.)

Listen to the Soundcloud clip for more detail on Sedibe and his ideas on fixing what ails South Africa.

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