Lands' Ministry removes three illegal fences in Omusati

18 Jun 2014 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 18 JUN (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement has managed to remove only three illegal fences in the Omusati Region during the 2012/13 financial year.
This was revealed in the ministry’s annual report for 2012/13 tabled by the Minister of Lands and Resettlement Alpheus !Naruseb in Parliament on Tuesday.
“This doesn’t come without challenges, as some illegal fence owners resort to courts making the project difficult to implement,” the Permanent Secretary (PS) in the line ministry Lidwina Shapwa mentioned in her executive summary of that report.
During the year under review, the ministry also undertook farm assessments and demarcations, and a total of 65 farms were assessed, while 23 new farms and 63 existing farms were demarcated countrywide.
Shapwa said in order to ensure equitable distribution and access to land, the Land Reform Advisory Commission (LRAC) established 13 regional sub-committees to assist in the regional selection of candidates for resettlement.
“During the period under review, the ministry also monitored 349 farming units for the purpose of ensuring adherence to lease agreements,” she added.
A total of 26 lease agreements were signed out of a target of 100 lease agreements.
Shapwa indicated that many of the beneficiaries, however, refused to sign lease agreements, and demanded that the infrastructure be fixed first.
“It is, however, now a policy of the ministry that infrastructure development can only take place once the lease agreement has been signed,” she stated.
In terms of the Communal Land Reform Act, Shapwa indicated that three communal areas were extended in the Karas, Hardap and Erongo regions.
Efforts to register existing Communal Land Rights yielded 19 790 out of the expected target of 59 000.
“Information by word of mouth is that communal residents are reluctant to apply for the registration of their land rights, as they face challenges such as boundary disputes between Traditional Authorities (TAs), particularly in areas with unrecognised TAs,” the report noted.