Flexible land tenure pilot project starts October

05 Oct 2015 08:00am


The implementation of the Flexible Land Tenure System (FLTS) pilot project in some towns around the country is expected to commence early October 2015.

The Ministry of Land Reform is responsible for developing and implementing the FLTS, which involves the surveying and registration of land rights, and providing tenure security for low-income earners and the urban poor of Namibia.

The project aims to survey, service and allocate affordable land to low-income people and such land will be registered on their names at the local authorities where they reside.

In an interview with Nampa on Wednesday, FLTS Project Coordinator in the Ministry of Land Reform (MLR), Lease Mvula said the pilot project will initially be implemented in Oshakati, Windhoek and Gobabis, based on the size of the populations in those towns.

A consultant from Germany, Hans-Gert Becker, arrived in Namibia on Wednesday to assist the government and work towards the implementation of the pilot project.

"We will have a meeting with Becker on Thursday to work on how to implement the project," Mvula said.

The Flexible Land Tenure Act, 2012 (Act 4 of 2012) was gazetted by Government without regulations and the MLR was mandated by Cabinet to start with the implementation of the pilot project.

Mvula noted that the regulations are still pending gazetting with the Ministry of Justice and are delaying the practical piloting of the FLTS.

"The regulations are also pending the decision of which report to avail for reference on a slum-free country or a slum-free zone in the world, in comparison with the FLTS for Namibia, as best practice," he stressed.

Over N.dollars 9.9 million was initially budgeted for the implementation of the FLTS pilot project in the country, however, the budget was cut drastically.

Mvula explained that N.dollars 5 829 000 was given back to the Ministry of Finance and the project now remains with N.dollars 4 106 000, and out of that money about N.dollars 1 million was used for other activities under the project.

He further said the City of Windhoek (CoW); MLR; United Nations (UN); the German company for international development (GIZ) and other development partners have been supporting this project.

"We never experienced any operational issues between the CoW. We have received overwhelming support from the City Council, which has proposed potential areas for FLTS implementation in Freedom Land A and B, Havana Proper, and Onyika in the capital," he noted.

During the monthly City Council meeting on 31 August 2015, councillors recommended the allocation of the said areas toward the implementation of FLTS pilot project. Mvula, however, dismissed claims that the MLR has to avail resources to the CoW for the implementation of the pilot project.

"The government needs to have a system whereby these areas can be better managed, with respect to installation of infrastructure, land use management, rates and taxes by local authorities," he explained.

Mvula noted that a paradigm-shift in the use of formal land registration instructions is therefore required, adding that the conventional planning, surveying and registration systems create security of the tenure.

This means that people in the informal settlement will officially take ownership of the land that will be allocated to them by registering through local authorities.

The project coordinator said it was agreed that the role of the government systems should be to perform certain planning and control functions and protect the rights of all citizens, including land rights.