Homeland or death

28 April 2020 | Opinion

The sweeping levels of poverty in our country – laid bare by the current lockdown – could be mitigated in a major way if the masses possessed land.

The second national land conference, held in 2018, has come and gone without any tangible result being seen thus far in the skewed manner of current ownership.

A lion's share of why mobs of hungry people are descending on food distribution centres like starving eagles on a hare is because they have no way of producing their own food.

This is the same reason why thousands of people living in informal settlements are unable to abide by government's social distancing requirements. They are packed like sardines into tiny, overheating corrugated sheet shacks because land – which the country has in abundance – isn't accessible to them.

Food handouts, which have become government's supposed panacea to combating hunger, are unsustainable. The world over, development policy scholars propose that economic growth and equitable distribution of national resources are the biggest weapons there is to crush poverty.

In the case of Namibia, the country actually has two processes it must aggressively embark upon: distribution and redistribution of resources.

If we only distribute what is available and not also redistribute what is clenched in the hands of a few land barons, we can forget about winning the poverty war.

The Mickey Mouse, pedestrian approaches deployed so far have proven to be short-sighted and unsustainable.

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