Geingob directs Land Minister to fast-track land distribution

29 Jun 2015 18:40pm
WINDHOEK, 29 JUN (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has directed the Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma to explore all options at the disposal of Government to fast-track land distribution.
These include confiscation of foreign owned land on a legal basis, as well as subsidising municipalities to acquire urban land, and the construction of housing.
Geingob made the announcement at State House on Monday when he provided a summary of his first 100 days in office. He was elected president on 21 March 2015.
“Land reform remains a crucial, delicate and emotive issue in Namibia. Land reform must be addressed with care, and Government will explore all measures within the confines of the law to address the matter.
“We must also aim at irrigating more land for crop production,” he stated, adding that the two Kavango regions, in particular, have enormous potential for crop production.
Government owns 300 000 hectares in these two regions, out of which it should be possible to utilise at least 30 000 hectares for agricultural purposes, said the President.
Through this action, he noted, it should be possible to train and employ between 1 000 and 2 000 young people at least on a regular basis.
This is a measure that Government will explore, he said.
With regards to housing delivery Geingob said Government stopped the mass housing initiative due to the numerous irregularities reported.
Furthermore, he directed the Minister of Urban and Rural Development, Sophia Shaningwa to provide him with proposals on the matter before the end of July this year.
Some of the emerging measures that will be pursued as a matter of priority include amendment of the Regional Councils Act and the Local Authority Act; to prohibit the sale of land to and ownership of land by foreign nationals; as well as putting in place mechanisms to prevent land speculation and other practices that prevent the majority of Namibians from accessing urban land.
Furthermore, Geingob said, his government is looking at all areas where it can cut costs.
“This will involve looking at the output or value that should be related to any costs incurred. The same applies to Government travel, especially foreign trips, that must have a value,” he said.
Travel must have tangible results - travel for peace will be considered, but sizes of delegations must be limited.