Bureaucracy holds up Tsumeb land transfer

16 October 2020 | Local News

ESTER KAMATI

TSUMEB



Weatherly has donated 250 hectares (ha) of land to the Tsumeb municipality to fight land scarcity at the town but long bureaucratic processes are holding up the transfer.

The mining company owns about 600 ha of land in the area behind Kuvukiland as well as some portions of Saam Staan behind Agra, Hans Nolte, the company's consultant on mining property, said in a stakeholder meeting.

The process of transferring the land will take until early or mid-2021, he said.

According to Nolte, Weatherly has already signed agreements to make certain areas of land available, adding that they are waiting for the legal steps to be concluded before development can commence.



Since 2015

Weatherly international CEO John Bonoh Sisay told Namibian Sun they made the donation because the municipality needed the land and the company was not using the area at the time.

He added that the process to transfer the land began in 2015, however, as a private entity, the company does not have the capacity to speed up the process.

“This is dependent on the government,” he said, which has to go through its own process “to ensure that the land is taken properly and used properly”.

Sisay added that for liability reasons, it is best to wait for the land to be registered in the municipality's name before people are moved onto it.

He added that there are negotiations for the transfer of more land to the municipality but so far only the 250 ha are part of the process.



Planning ahead

At a joint stakeholder meeting, Tsumeb mayor Matheus Hangula said municipal officials have also been tasked to speed up all processes.

In the meantime, Weatherly has established a land distribution committee consisting of Weatherly representatives as well as municipality staff.

Municipal spokesperson Stella Imalwa-Nangolo confirmed that the municipality has yet to receive the title deed, but will begin planning in the meantime.



Land grab

Meanwhile, on 26 September, the same piece of land was infiltrated by individuals mobilised by a group called Kap en Bou to grab land. The municipality spokesperson stated that there was no promise to members of Kap en Bou that they will be issued land once the municipality receives the title deed.

The municipality, however, assured the continuation of planning, which will include everyone who is in need of land.

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