41% of Namibians want land seized

06 November 2019 | Agriculture

JEMIMA BEUKES



About 41% of Namibians want the government to expropriate land without any compensation, the latest Afrobarometer report has found.

This finding comes at a time when the lands ministry has asked attorney-general Albert Kawana for a legal opinion on the expropriation of land with just compensation.

The report further shows that 36% of Namibians want the willing-buyer, willing-seller policy to continue while 16% believe there is no further need for land reform.

The second land conference held in October last year resolved to discontinue the willing-buyer, willing-seller principle and to develop an accelerated land delivery method.

Under the willing-buyer, willing-seller policy, the government buys farms at market prices and has the first option to buy any farm offered for sale.

In 2018 the cabinet approved a recommendation that 70% of all future resettlement farms be reserved for war veterans and their dependants, while the rest of the beneficiaries must be drawn from the national pool of applicants.

Provision of land

The Afrobarometer report also says 58% of Namibians are somewhat satisfied with the effectiveness of the government’s provision of land and housing in urban areas, while 32% say housing provision is not effective at all.

The government has come under fire for the slow pace at which it delivers serviced residential plots, which has led to the uncontrolled growth of informal settlements.

The Shack Dwellers Federation estimates that close to 40% of Namibians live in shacks - amounting to close to one million individuals and 228 000 shacks countrywide.

The Afrobarometer report also states that the demand for land has been overtaken by drought and water supply as the most important problems Namibians want the government to address.

The Afrobarometer team in Namibia, led by Survey Warehouse, interviewed 1 200 adult Namibians in August 2019.

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