07 May 2019 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 07 MAY (NAMPA) The Ministry of Land Reform, in its efforts to ensure equitable distribution and access to land, bought 12 farms measuring a combined 69 633 hectares for N.dollars 132 million during the 2018/19 financial year.
This was revealed by Minister of Land Reform, Utoni Nujoma, in the National Assembly on Monday, when he motivated his ministrys N.dollars 496 million budget allocation for the 2019/20 financial year in the National Assembly
According to Nujoma, 13 families were also resettled during the 2018/19 financial year.
Although several innovative approaches to acquire land under the current legal framework (willing buyer-willing seller) are being introduced, the amount of land that is eventually acquired still falls short of the current demand, he said.
The ministrys current financial position and the demand for land continue to have a negative impact on its overall performance, the minister said.
Efforts to motivate for additional funding under the Land Reform Programme, especially for land purchase, is a continuous discourse and engagement with the Minister of Finance and we will keep flagging the issue at appropriate fora, he said.
Nujoma further stated that the price at which agricultural land is offered to the government remains one of the challenges they face.
As for post-settlement support, the ministry has been preoccupied with the rehabilitation of dilapidated farm infrastructure and has acquired 170 water units which are intended to benefit 132 families, Nujoma said further.
During the 2018/19 financial year, the ministry issued 1 254 land tax assessments, pocketing N.dollars 16.6 million in land tax collection.
However, the ministry could not issue general tax assessments using the 2012 valuation roll due to a review case of the approval process which was due on 19 February 2019.
In his 11-page speech, Nujoma added that his ministry needs N.dollars 341 million to efficiently manage and administer land valuation and taxation regulations, while a total of 1 423 land rights were registered, while 683 parcels were mapped, 3 257 were entered into the database and 1 292 village maps were displayed.
Meanwhile, 1 039 land rights were recorded and 1 037 certificates were issued.
From the lease agreements the government has entered into, N.dollars 49 263 was collected under resettlement leases, while N.dollars 170 111 was collected from communal area leaseholds.