Land issue requires difficult but sincere dialogue: Geingob

12 Apr 2017 19:20pm
WINDHOEK, 12 APR (NAMPA) – The skewed land distribution in Namibia requires all stakeholders to engage in a difficult but sincere dialogue, said President Hage Geingob.
Delivering his third State of the Nation Address in Parliament on Wednesday, the Head of State said Government plans to engage in dialogue during the Second National Land Conference in the third quarter of 2017.
“As we prepare for this important dialogue, I urge stakeholders to prepare and submit considered and evidenced-based proposals to enrich the discussions,” said the President, adding land should be regarded as a potentially productive asset of the country.
This, Geingob said, means that answering the complex land question should not be confined to redistribution and must take into account the need to increase agricultural productivity, while sharing skills amongst young and retired farmers to build the capacity of the previously disadvantaged.
“We fought for the Independence of Namibia in order for Namibians to decide their own destiny, including issues around land.”
Geingob said people must not hesitate talking about sensitive topics such as the willing-seller and willing-buyer principle; ancestral land claims and restitution; land expropriation in public interest as provided for by the Constitution of Namibia; and urban land reform.
He warned that Government will not allow lawlessness, especially from people who erect illegal structures on unserviced land and then demand services.
“Settling on any land without permission is against the law and land grabbing will certainly not be tolerated,” he said, noting that it is a Government priority to service land and provide housing and sanitation.
“I am pleased to report that we have made good progress with servicing residential land, especially in Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Outapi and Oshakati. In Windhoek, we are also making progress, albeit at a slower pace.”
Geingob said 7 754 plots have been serviced countrywide, surpassing the annual target of 6 000.
Similarly, 5 554 houses were completed nationwide in year one of the Harambee Prosperity Plan (2016), exceeding the annual target of 5 000 houses.