Credit crunch slows down resettlement

The lands ministry says N$6.1 billion is required to reach its 2020 land acquisition targets.

13 March 2018 | Agriculture

The minister of land reform, Utoni Nujoma, says preliminary work has already been undertaken for the second land conference that President Hage Geingob said would take place later this year.

Nujoma said a date had not yet been set but his ministry was working in tandem with the Office of the Prime Minister.

He said he hoped it would provide a platform where Namibians could give input to ensure a “reasonable” land-reform process that would be acceptable to all citizens and international investors.

“It will be a responsible land-reform programme,” Nujoma said at a three-day review and planning workshop that started in Windhoek yesterday.



Acquisitions and developments

The ministry had planned to acquire 3.1 million hectares of land for resettlement purposes during the previous strategic plan period (2017/18), but was able to buy only 836 000 hectares, made up of 155 farms, costing N$1.1 billion.

During 2017/18 the ministry planned to resettle 579 beneficiaries, but only 365 were resettled on 104 farming units in //Karas (26), Erongo (26), Hardap (104), Khomas (10), Kunene (24), Omaheke (99), Oshikoto (1) and Otjozondjupa (75).

Nujoma said that was because most suitable farms (360 farms totalling 996 202 hectares) were offered to the government after they were waived in favour of Affirmative Action Loan Scheme (AALS) candidates.

He said for the fifth National Development Plan (NDP 5) period N$2.1 billion was allocated for farm acquisitions, which he said was not enough to buy up the remaining 1.9 million hectares of farmland needed by 2020.

Nujoma said to reach the target by 2020, the ministry would have to buy 60 000 hectares per year for the remaining three years. That would cost N$2 billion per year, or N$6.1 billion over the next three years.

As a result, only 136 beneficiaries will be resettled on 224 123 hectares over the next five years.



Nujoma said the programme for communal land development (PCLD) was “bearing fruit”. This programme is jointly supported by the European Union, the German and Namibian governments, through which “substantial socio-economic investments” have been given to communal farmers.

In this regard, 286 000 hectares have been developed with 857 kilometres of fencing, 20 multi-purpose kraals erected, 30 boreholes drilled and another 30 rehabilitated, and 98 kilometres of water pipelines installed in Kavango East and West, Ohangwena, Omusati and Zambezi regions.

Nujoma said these infrastructural developments would benefit 7 800 farming households.

Infrastructure development projects are envisaged for Otjozondjupa and Omaheke in the next financial year.

A total of 177 593 communal land rights were mapped and digitised, which accounted for 90% of the 196 000 communal land rights that can be registered nationally.

Another 116 220 customary land rights (or 65%) have been registered and digitised and 101 432 certificates have been issued. This programme is expected to affect 500 000 citizens.

A number of lease agreements under the resettlement programme have also been finalised. These are 16 in Otjozondjupa, 19 in //Karas, nine in Kunene, four in Erongo, seven in Oshikoto, one in Khomas and five in Hardap.

During this financial year 21 894 property deeds and 3 776 sectional-title deeds were registered, contributing more than N$2.5 million in revenue.

Property registration is ongoing; so far, 44 898 deeds documents have been digitised.





Valuation roll

The main valuation roll for 2012 was approved by the valuation court in November 2016. Based on that, the lands ministry revised the rates of land tax downwards in response to an increase in land values, Nujoma said.

He said had the current rate been maintained, it would have led to exorbitant land tax being paid by landowners.

However, farmers appealed the decision of the valuation court in the High Court, a matter which is still pending.

In the meantime the ministry has proceeded to issue the 2016/17 land tax assessments based on the 2012 valuation roll.

After the High Court on 21 February 2018 stopped the issuance of the tax assessments on commercial farmland, no commercial agricultural farmland transactions could take place until the interdict was lifted or the main review case was disposed of, Nujoma said.

He said notwithstanding the interdict, the ministry was urgently engaging stakeholders to find a solution to the effects of the interdict.

The 2017/18 valuation roll is currently being prepared and will be on display during the second quarter of the 2018/19 financial year.

During 2016/17, land taxes of N$20.8 million were collected.

CATHERINE SASMAN

Similar News

 

SA allays FMD fears

10 hours ago | Agriculture

The foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak in South Africa has had a devastating effect on trade, with neighbouring countries like Namibia suspending imports and the in-transit...

Climate change brings hardship

1 day - 15 January 2019 | Agriculture

Environment ministry spokesperson Romeo Muyunda has urged Namibians to be wary of the effects of climate change and not regard them as farfetched and unrealistic,...

What can still be imported from SA

1 day - 15 January 2019 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT The agriculture ministry has provided detailed information to importers and the Namibian public on which animals and animal products may...

Backyard gardens get seeds

1 day - 15 January 2019 | Agriculture

The Ondangwa urban constituency in the Oshana Region has donated seeds to some of its residents to establish backyard gardens.Last week about 20 homes and...

Dying orchards disturb SPYL

5 days ago - 11 January 2019 | Agriculture

Swapo Party Youth League (SPYL) secretary Ephraim Nekongo has expressed his disappointment over the agriculture ministry terminating the contracts of about 200 workers at 56...

Borders closed due to FMD outbreak in SA

6 days ago - 10 January 2019 | Agriculture

Namibia's borders with South Africa have been closed to all imports and in-transit movements of cloven-hoofed animals and products from the neighbouring country with immediate...

Project in limbo for 40 years

1 week ago - 09 January 2019 | Agriculture

ILENI NANDJATO Decades after a study was conducted by the colonial administration on the eucalyptus trees at Onankali, no commercial...

Planting delayed

1 week ago - 09 January 2019 | Agriculture

RONELLE RADEMEYERFarmers in the Maize Triangle of Otavi, Grootfontein and Tsumeb have commenced planting after the area received copious rainfall of between 50 en 60...

Iikunino yepangelo itayi silwa oshipwuyu

1 week ago - 08 January 2019 | Agriculture

ILENI NANDJATOEkutho miilonga ndyoka kuya pehulilo lyomvula ya piti olya etitha iikunino kayi silwe we oshipwiyu niiyimati yi kale owala tayi likolwa ko kaakwashigwana.Omvula yimwe...

State orchards left to die

1 week ago - 07 January 2019 | Agriculture

The ministry of agriculture, water and forestry has terminated the contracts of about 200 workers at 56 state orchards in the north. The dismissals...

Latest News

Higher food, fuel prices expected

10 hours ago | Economics

Consumers should brace themselves for even more expensive food and fuel this year. Although motorists received a slight reprieve in fuel prices in December,...

'Technical glitches' force plane to...

10 hours ago | Transport

An Air Namibia Embraer ERJ 135 en route to Ondangwa from Windhoek had to turn around on Sunday evening and land at Eros Airport, from...

When legends die paupers

10 hours ago | Columns

The death on Sunday of Bafana Bafana legend Phil Masinga and the outpouring of grief around his passing, especially in Namibia, has once again brought...

SA regulator weighs Eskom price...

10 hours ago | Economics

NAMPA/ANAAs the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) on Monday began public hearings on Eskom's tariff increase application, pressure group SAFCEI suggested that the...

Cross-border buses to Zim suspend...

10 hours ago | Economics

Nampa/ANAThe International Cross-Border Traders Association (ICTA) on Monday said it had withdrawn all buses travelling to different parts of Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries as protests...

Nambundunga inspired us - Shalli

10 hours ago | People

Former Namibian Defence Force (NDF) chief Martin Shalli says his successor, the late Peter Nambundunga, played a significant role during the liberation struggle as a...

SADC urged to speak with...

10 hours ago | International

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has been urged to speak with one voice on the current crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).This...

China and Canada in 'hostage...

10 hours ago | Economics

NAMPA/AFP A Chinese court's decision to impose the death penalty on a...

Ghana's biggest oilfield yet discovered...

10 hours ago | Economics

NAMPA/ANANorwegian oil exploration company Aker Energy has announced the discovery of what appears to be the biggest oil find in the Ghana's history to date...

Load More