Land conference adopts 169 resolutions

07 Oct 2018 11:10am
WINDHOEK, 07 OCT (NAMPA) – The second National Land Conference has adopted 169 land reform resolutions to be implemented by Government, a dossier presented by Minister of Information and Communication, Stanley Simataa shows.
The document was availed to the media at a media conference on Saturday, where Simataa said the conference was a “resounding success” and not a “gimmick” as alleged by its detractors.
“It was a serious undertaking,” Simataa told reporters.
The 169 resolutions emanated from five thematic areas.
Among them was the issue of ancestral land claims and restitution, whose existence on the conference’s agenda was a bone of contention from the onset.
The conference resolved that a commission be established to investigate and make appropriate recommendations to Government on the matter.
Under commercial land reform programmes, the conference took a firm stance to abolish the ‘willing-seller, willing-buyer’ policy as a primary land acquisition method.
It agreed to implement the expropriation of land within the confines of the Namibian constitution, which include just compensation.
The conference resolved to expropriate foreign owned agricultural land, while underutilised commercial farms owned by Namibian will also be subjected to expropriation.
“The conference resolved that the allocation of land should be on a 70:30 basis in favour of (land) dispossessed communities and veterans of the liberation struggle and the latter’s dependents,” the minister said.
The indaba further agreed to the principle of ‘One Namibian, One farm’, meaning no Namibian will be allowed to own more than one commercial farming unit.
It further agreed to develop a desalination plant to irrigate land in the Namib Desert and develop it to ensure food security.
On urban land reform, the conference resolved to implement Rent Ordinance Act 13 of 1977, to regulate rent prices.
In addition, municipalities should also avail land for student housing, it was resolved.
Another resolution was that Government houses be transferred as rental social houses to regional and local authorities.
On communal land reform, the conference agreed to implement local sourcing by Government entities to cater for market needs of farmers north of the Veterinary Cordon Fence (VCF).
In the meantime, Government will continue with gradual efforts to remove the VCF.
One of the resolutions from this thematic area is that government will assist traditional authorities in enforcing the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002, in a bid to arrest the continued practice of illegal fencing, which is rife in communal areas.
A notable resolution on urban land is that foreign investment in real estate must be regulated and that no land should be sold to foreign nationals.
The resolutions are due for submission to Cabinet for further interrogation before approval, after which they will then be taken to Parliament.