No change in land situation

29 July 2020 | Opinion

It's been nearly two years since the supposed 'landmark' second national land conference of October 2018 took place.

Two years, in the context of a country whose presidential terms are only five years, are a lifetime.

Despite the pomp and fanfare of the conference, punctuated by lengthy political speeches and too academic presentations, nothing fundamental has changed in terms of access to and ownership of land.

The condition of the common man – as far as land hunger is concerned – is probably worse today than it was in 2018. This is so because the number of Namibians in need of land has increased as many have transcended into adulthood, while the price of this commodity must have also increased.

Yesterday we reported about how not a single plot is yet serviced in Goreangab in accordance with the deal struck in 2015 between government and the Affirmative Repositioning movement. That's five years of dilly-dallying with people's genuine hunger for land.

The people mandated to deliver this service to the people are sleeping both on duty and in the comfort of their own homes – without a care in the world.

Over the weekend President Hage Geingob said, rather disappointingly, that land does not necessarily mean wealth. This capitalist outlook, that people want land to become rich, is exactly what is wrong with the psyche of our politics.

To many, land simply means a surface to live on. Let us never belittle people's genuine need for a dignified livelihood, even where wealth does not exist.