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

 

Grasslands are paramount

9 hours ago | Agriculture

The 22nd Rangeland Forum took place at the end of November in Otjiwarongo during which sound rangeland management practices were discussed to make the livestock...

SA charcoal processors move to Nam

1 week ago - 05 December 2018 | Agriculture

Three of the biggest South African buyers of Namibian charcoal will be moving their processing plants to Namibia. This was revealed by trade minister Tjekero...

Opoloyeka onene yuunamapya tayi tulwa miilonga

1 week ago - 05 December 2018 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT Epangelo olya kutha omukuli gwoobiliyona 1 ngoka tagu longithwa mokutula miilonga opoloyeka yuunamaya ya nuninwa okunkondopaleka uunafaalama moshilongo.Opoloyeka ndjoka otayi tulwa miilonga moshilongo...

'Leave us alone or let us die'

1 week ago - 04 December 2018 | Agriculture

Landless communities living along the Skaap River in central Namibia are threatening to move onto the four farms leased to Russian oligarch Rashid Sardarov by...

Massive agri project launched

1 week ago - 04 December 2018 | Agriculture

A N$1.4-billion agriculture project will be implemented across the country to enhance agricultural productivity and reduce the annual importation of staple cereal crops. The agriculture...

Tree harvesters cry foul

1 week ago - 03 December 2018 | Agriculture

Kavango East timber harvesters say the environment ministry is discriminating against them.They were reacting to a ministry statement last week which said all tree-felling activities...

Budget cuts almost halt tests

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Agriculture

An amount of N$55 000 was availed to the agriculture ministry to ensure that it can carry out necessary tests for livestock and meat exports....

Female farmer scoops National Weaner Champion, again

2 weeks ago - 28 November 2018 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT

NGOs shocked by cabinet decision

2 weeks ago - 27 November 2018 | Agriculture

Local activists are demanding clarity from the government over a cabinet decision to reserve 70% of resettlement farms for veterans of the liberation struggle and...

Veterans to get 70% of farms

2 weeks ago - 23 November 2018 | Agriculture

Cabinet has approved a recommendation that 70% of all future resettlement farms be reserved for war veterans and their dependants, while the rest of the...

Latest News

‘We have a plan for...

9 hours ago | Economics

The minister of public enterprises, Leon Jooste, says there are several interventions and strategies at government’s disposal to turn some of the now cash-stripped parastatals...

The thorny street kid issue

9 hours ago | Columns

A study has found that children who live on the streets are primarily driven there by poverty.It found that the majority of Windhoek street children...

South African cities short of...

9 hours ago | Economics

Susan Njanji - In the middle of the vast Avalon cemetery in Johannesburg's Soweto township, two gravediggers shovelled soil out of an old grave containing...

Man shoots ex, himself

9 hours ago | Crime

Another murder-suicide occurred over the long weekend, in which a man shot his ex-girlfriend and then himself.According to the police, 48-year-old Keib Diedrich shot Monalisa...

Tough year for mining

9 hours ago | Business

While this year has been very challenging for the mining industry, indications are that the uranium market may recover by 2022, which will result in...

Ministry opts for cheaper Etosha...

9 hours ago | Environment

The environment ministry has started reviewing the design of a predator- and elephant-proof fence around Etosha National Park to reduce the cost of construction. ...

Grasslands are paramount

9 hours ago | Agriculture

The 22nd Rangeland Forum took place at the end of November in Otjiwarongo during which sound rangeland management practices were discussed to make the livestock...

Hold the phone: Huawei mistrust...

9 hours ago | Technology

Dan MartinChina's ambitious drive to dominate next-generation 5G technology faces a sudden reality check as fears spread that telecom companies like Huawei could be proxies...

Mass action against Swakop Uranium

9 hours ago | Justice

Swakop Uranium is being dragged to court by 706 of its workers in two different matters, with claims totalling more than N$53 million.Yesterday, at a...

Load More