ESWATINI WOMEN NOT LAGGING BEHIND IN PROPERTY OWNERSHIP


There are above 20 000 registered title deed land parcels in the country, 8200 are registered under men and more than 7300 are registered under women. Additionally, some of the land registered under Trusts and Companies belongs to Trusts and Companies owned by women. So substantively, their property ownership exceeds 7300 land parcels


Photo Credit: https://www.eswatinipropertyreview.co.sz/ | Original Article By: Thabiso Masina (Former Registrar of Deeds)


There is a perception that women in Eswatini don’t own property or are not well represented or are not well represented in the property ownership stakes. It might have initially been spoken in relation to the Eswatini Nation Land (ENL), but soon the conversation transcended into title deed or freehold land. This article aims to clarify this misconception, especially when it comes to title deed land.

There are above 20 000 title deed land parcels in the country. Of these, 798 are registered in Trusts or trustees for the time being of such trusts, 2814 are registered in the name of companies, more than 8200 are registered in the name of males, and 7300 are registered under women, and just above 2000, the electronic system does not identify but are perfectly known when searched on the manual system and electronic archiving system.

So statistically, it is incorrect to portray women’s freehold property ownership as non-existent, or grossly lacking behind, particularly when compared to men. This is not the end of the story as some of the land registered under Trusts and Companies belongs to Trusts and Companies owned by women. So substantively, their property ownership far exceeds the 7300 highlighted earlier.

Surely that is a feat to be celebrated for we all know the importance and utility derived from the ownership of land. That notwithstanding a lot of headwinds, such as lower income, lower representations in the echelons of the corporate world and public sector, legal impediments such as the pre- 2012 clause that prevented women married in community of property, from owning immovable property in their own name. For the avoidance of any doubt even before 2012, women married under Eswatini Law and Custom and those married out of community of property could and are still able to purchase title deed land in their own personal names.

May such continue, for Charles Dudley Warner, 1870, once said “No human but feels more of a human in the world than when they have a bit of ground they can call their own”. Furthermore, it is well known that with property ownership, comes economic emancipation, the ability to leverage one’s property and gain credit either for business or personal development. It also makes for more confident people that exhibit a higher sense of personal dignity.

This article was first published in Eswatini Property Review and is used with permission. The article was also published in 2019, meaning most figures may have changed


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