Land reform ministry continues resettling farmers

30 Mar 2016 17:50pm
WINDHOEK, 30 MAR (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Land Reform has acquired 36 farms at a cost of more than N.dollars 290 million to resettle 57 families between April 2015 and February 2016.
The Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma revealed these figures Tuesday when he delivered his motivational budget speech for the 2016/2017 financial year in the National Assembly.
The ministry’s budget allocation is more than N.dollars 613 million, of which the budget for the land acquisition programme alone is about N.dollars 384 million for the 2016/2017 financial year.
“The redistributive land reform programme continues to be a priority. Though a number of Namibians have been resettled and others have benefitted from other Government schemes to get access to land, it is important to note that the demand for land remains high,” he noted.
In order to respond to the ever-increasing requests for land, the ministry since Independence in 1990 has acquired 408 farms measuring 2.9 million hectares at a total cost of N.dollars 1.4 billion. The ministry, however, still needs to acquire another 2.1 million hectares to realise a resettlement target by the year 2020.
About the preparation of a new Valuation Roll, Nujoma noted it has been put on hold pending the completion of amendments to the Land Valuation and Taxation Regulations of 2007. The aforesaid amendments have been incorporated in the Draft Land Bill, possibly to be tabled in Parliament during the 2016/2017 financial year. In the interim, the 2007 Valuation Roll has been used to collect land tax for the 2013/2014 financial year whereby N.dollars 46 million was expected to be collected. However, a total of N.dollars 23 million was collected in order to accelerate land acquisition, land allocation and valuation as well as land administration. The ministry needs about N.dollars 447 million for the valuation and property taxation.
With regards to the registration of land rights in communal areas, the minister said it is still ongoing following the indefinite extension in the Government Notice of 28 February 2014. To date, a total of 167 055 land rights have been verified and mapped. A total of 84 902 out of 244 000 hectares communal land rights were registered and 6 337 certificates were issued.
Nujoma boasted that at the Deeds Registry, progress has been made with regard to the development and successful implementation of the computerized deeds registration system (CDRS). A total of N.dollars 6.3 million was collected and 21 954 transactions were registered during the 2015/2016 financial year. However, to implement the programme security of tenure, the ministry requested N.dollars 15.5 million for this financial year.
The ministry has also embarked upon the following interventions: rehabilitation and development of water infrastructure to the tune of N.dollars 27 million; development of fencing infrastructure at the cost of N.dollars 98 million; development of communal areas under the programme for communal land development (PCLD) at a total cost of N.dollars 26 million; and post-settlement support for resettled famers to the tune of more than N.dollars 10 million.