Land Bill is too simplistic

One-size-fits-all is no solution

16 February 2017 | Agriculture

CATHERINE SASMAN

A paper suggests that more thorough consultation is required on the Land Bill instead of it being removed from the public eye.

The Institute for Public Policy Review (IPPR) has suggested a thorough policy review of the entire land reform process before public comments are invited or the Land Bill is tabled in the National Assembly.

It says failure to recognise and analyse some of the complex and subtle differences in land issues across the country has resulted in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ legal framework that appears to be working in some regions, was rejected in others, and was perceived as useless in communal areas that depend on livestock farming.

It says the absence of meaningful consultation in preparation of the land policy and Land Act “reflects political short-term expediency” rather than addressing real land administration and tenure issues and removes policymaking from the public eye.

“Making land policy and laws in Namibia is largely the prerogative of politicians. This risks a situation where political expediency rather than long-term solutions are reflected in policy and legislation,” the IPPR says.

It suggests that the land and agricultural sectors need to be integrated in a comprehensive agrarian reform programme.

THE BILL

The Land Bill tabled in November last year by minister of land reform Utoni Nujoma aims to consolidate and amend the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act of 1995 and the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002 to ensure that all land in Namibia has the same status.

It provides for a unitary land system where Namibian citizens have equal rights, opportunities and security with regard to land irrespective of where the land is situated.

The IPPR says although the Bill has all the hallmarks of legislation drafted without a comprehensive policy framework, it does introduce a number of positive changes to existing laws.

One of the proposed changes is that procedures to appeal against decisions in traditional authorities and land boards in communal areas have been clarified.

However, the IPPR says, whether aggrieved parties can access the proposed process remains to be seen.

The bill also provides more detail on customary land rights and the modalities of where customary land rights apply.

The IPPR says while it improves the accountability of traditional authorities in general, it does not go far enough to enforce accountability.

In the commercial farming sector the bill seems to weaken the powers and functions of the Land Reform Advisory Commission (LRAC), the IPPR says.

Here, the lands minister is empowered to take decisions on several important aspects of land reform without consulting the LRAC.

The two main farmers’ unions - the Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) and the Namibia National Farmers Union (NNFU) - would no longer be automatically represented on the LRAC.

Regional resettlement committees are to be established but their powers and functions are not detailed in the bill.

Similar News

 

Otuntila omolwa omukithi gwendambi

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Agriculture

Omulumentu gwoomvula 22 a za momukunda Omayuuda momudhingoloko Ogongo moshitopolwa shaMusati okuli ta mono uunamiti konima sho a lumatwa kondoongi.Oshikondo shuundjolowele wiimuna shoDirectorate of...

Epukiro farmers encouraged by good rains

2 days ago - 14 February 2019 | Agriculture

Heavy rains that fell in many parts of Epukiro constituency, which forms part of the drought-stricken Omaheke Region, have given farmers renewed hopes.In various interviews...

Labour biggest cost for farmers

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Agriculture

Labour is the biggest cost factor on commercial farms, as it constitutes 22% of total expenses. This is according to an Agricultural Employers Association (AEA)...

Iikumungu yaaniilonga tayi pula unene moondjato dhaanafaalama

3 days ago - 13 February 2019 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT Iifuta yaaniilonga oyi li shimwe shomiinima mbyoka hayi pula oshimaliwa oshindji okuza moondjato dhaanafaalama.Shoka osha hololwa kuuyelele wa gandjwa moAgricultural Employers Association (AEA)...

Producers plead for Harambee

4 days ago - 12 February 2019 | Agriculture

The current drought situation in the country was high on the agenda of the Agronomic Producers' Association (APA) when its management met last week in...

Farmers in 'terrible situation'

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Agriculture

The United People's Movement (UPM) has expressed concern over the severe drought, saying that it should be declared a national disaster. The vice-president of the...

Technology drives disease control

1 week ago - 07 February 2019 | Agriculture

In order to facilitate the collection of specimens and the reporting of animal diseases, the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) is currently upgrading its...

Farmers in dire straits

1 week ago - 05 February 2019 | Agriculture

An emergency action plan has been compiled to reduce the impact of the ongoing drought in Namibia, which is already a “national crisis”.The Namibia Agricultural...

Billion-dollar agri project to enhance food security

1 week ago - 05 February 2019 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry, through its envisioned N$1.4 billion Agricultural Mechanisation and Seed System Improvement Project (NAMSIP), aims to make a significant contribution to the country's...

FMD contingency plans in spotlight

1 week ago - 05 February 2019 | Agriculture

The Meat Board of Namibia has initiated the revision of foot-and mouth-disease (FMD) contingency plans, in an effort to create a more conducive environment for...

Latest News

Foreign graduates protest 'unfair' tests

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Health

Dozens of foreign-trained medical and dentistry graduates took to the streets yesterday to protest against a pre-internship exam which they claim is unfair and discriminatory.One...

FirstRand Namibia fights back

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

Jo-Maré Duddy – FirstRand Namibia bounced back to positive profit growth in the six months ended 31 December 2018 after taking a knock in the...

Our people sustain our group

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Engaged employees help establish better relationships with customers, since staff are the ones who are actually in contact with customers. This is why FirstRand Namibia...

NaCC scrutinises fuel imports

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

The Namibia Competition Commission (NaCC) is requesting input from interested and affected parties on the reinstatement of the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia's (Namcor) intent...

Our Achilles heel of accountability

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Columns

Enforcing greater accountability has always been an Achilles heel for the Namibian government over the years. Questions have been raised over whether there is indeed...

RA, Unam sign MoU

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Business

Justicia Shipena On 12 February, the Roads Authority (RA) and the University of Namibia (Unam) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the RA’s...

Mutorwa’s journey with science

1 day - 15 February 2019 | People

Justicia Shipena Marius Mutorwa is a lecturer at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (Nust) in the department of health...

Witbooi artefacts coming

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Cultural

The arts and culture ministry has dismissed claims by the Nama Traditional Leaders Association (NTLA) that repatriating the bible and whip of the late Nama...

Desperate farmers receive fodder

1 day - 15 February 2019 | Disasters

Several Good Samaritans have come on board to show Namibia's spirit of helping those in a time of need. A total of 11...

Load More