Rukoro Report of 1992 not practical: Jankowski

06 Feb 2014 18:00pm
By Anna Salkeus
REHOBOTH, 05 FEB (NAMPA) – The Rukoro Report of 1992 which recommended that 3 000 Rehoboth Basters be given free erven is not practical, says Rehoboth Town Council Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Theo Jankowski.
He said this in response to a Nampa article last month titled “Rehoboth Basters still entitled to free erven: Diergaardt”.
Jankowski told this reporter on Wednesday that it is difficult to honour such an agreement because funding and available land is a challenge for the town council.
The Rukoro Report states that residents of Rehoboth who applied for free erven before Independence and whose applications were approved by the Captain and the Captain's Council at the time, but due to the unavailability of surveyed erven were not allocated a specific erf, will be entitled to free erven.
This information is contained in a six-page document called the Rukoro Report of 1992, which was compiled by then Attorney-General Vekuii Rukoro and endorsed by Cabinet.
Jankowski said allocating erven to the “burgers” (residents) can be done in a timeframe of two weeks, but the land has not yet been serviced or planned.
He added that all the local authority councillors who were in office after the report was endorsed, could not honour the promises made in that report.
“Maybe they would have been able to do it with the assistance from local government,” said the CEO.
He further emphasised that the Rukoro Report was compiled and endorsed during the time when Cabinet was in a “reconciliation mode” after independence.
“I don't think the Rukoro Report of 1992 is a holy cow,” he said.
Jankowski noted that cost implications and socio-economic circumstances have to be considered before giving erven to the residents to avoid creating informal settlements.
“The current local authority has done a lot to try and alleviate this. We are in the process of preparing 469 erven that have already been planned, surveyed and have been assessed on an environment impact study,” he explained.
He added that the land made available is not exclusive to the “burger Basters” alone, but other Rehoboth residents too who want a piece of land.
His statement also follows an illegal occupation of land on an area known as Kuvukiland by around 300 Basters there on 06 January this year.
Jankowski added that the issue of land grabbing in Kuvukiland happened during the time the town council was on recess.
The residents were then issued with an evacuation letter from the town council on 12 January 2014 to leave the land and move to another piece of land, also in Kuvukiland next to a cemetery.
“Council reached an agreement with the land grabbers that they will temporarily move to a reception area until a permanent area is found. If there is no corporation, then we (council) will remove them by force with a court order, but that will be our last resort. We will not just forcefully remove them, but we will negotiate with them first,” he said.
Captain of the Rehoboth Basters, Jan McNab told this agency on Wednesday that “having to wait for the promised erven for 24 years after independence is painful and still hurts many basters”.