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

 

Illegal grazing spree

3 days ago - 15 August 2019 | Agriculture

Uukwangali Traditional Authority chairperson of Christian Simuketa says over 2 000 cattle are grazing illegally in their area of jurisdiction.He was elaborating on illegal cattle...

Govt urged to act on farmworkers

3 days ago - 15 August 2019 | Agriculture

Land rights activist Karl Mudani ||Aribeb has urged government to introduce a special dispensation for farmworkers affected by resettlement in all regions of the country.Such...

Agriculture centre in limbo

4 days ago - 14 August 2019 | Agriculture

The new Agricultural Technology Centre (ATC) at Ongwediva, built at a cost of N$73 million, is in limbo as the agriculture ministry is not sure...

FMD outbreak in Zambezi

4 days ago - 14 August 2019 | Agriculture

The movement of all cloven-hoofed animals and their products within, into and out of the Zambezi Region has been banned after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth...

MPs get mixed reports on logging

4 days ago - 14 August 2019 | Agriculture

The parliamentary standing committee on the management of natural resources will table its recommendations in parliament after concluding its investigation into commercial timber harvesting in...

Biomass expo biggest yet

4 days ago - 14 August 2019 | Agriculture

ELLANIE SMIT The Biomass Technology Expo (BTE) which was held on Friday at the Otjiwa Lodge near Otjiwarongo turned out to be biggest biomass day...

'Daan Viljoen is ours'

4 days ago - 14 August 2019 | Agriculture

An ancestral land claim submission for the |Khomanîn traditional communities by Karl Mudani ||Aribeb lays claim to the Daan Viljoen settlement and the city of...

Endiki lyOngwediva ART inali tameka iilonga

4 days ago - 14 August 2019 | Agriculture

Endiki epe lya tungwa koshimaliwa shoomiliyona 73 lyoAgricultural Technology Centre (ART) mOngwediva olya thikama owala sho uuministeli wuunamapya inawu yelelwa ngele nawu gandje tuu endiki...

'We have no other home'

1 week ago - 09 August 2019 | Agriculture

The poverty level at Dordabis knows no boundaries; it is here that man and animal drink from the same waterhole and share the same living...

Give communal land to communities

1 week ago - 09 August 2019 | Agriculture

Swanu has recommended that the Namibian government give up its ownership of communal land in favour of the traditional communities legally occupying the land. The...

Latest News

Best July in four years

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Economics

Jo-Maré Duddy – July’s food inflation data contain sweet and sour, but mostly sweet ingredients: The overall figure of 3.7% is the mildest so far...

The underexplored gold mine of...

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Business

Aurelia DavidPublic relations (PR) is a function of many facets and PR practitioners are expected to evolve along with the different technologies that they require...

Leading IT innovation

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Business

Mariselle Stofberg Vincent Weyulu is a picture of determination. At 26 years old has proven that age is just a number when you are determined...

Geingob blitzes Baumgartsbrunn

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Government

The Christmas Eve-like excitement of the Baumgartsbrunn community was abruptly cut short yesterday when President Geingob spent minutes with them. The purpose of this...

Facebook post leads to N$100...

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Justice

A public Facebook post criticising the professional conduct of a Mariental doctor is at the centre of a N$100 000 defamation suit filed at the...

New plot saga at Omuthiya

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Government

Omuthiya deputy mayor Hisikiel Nanyeni, who previously served as the town's mayor, is being accused of allocating himself a residential plot at Extension Five in...

Africa Briefs

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Economics

South Africa yesterday announced visa waivers for four countries in a bid to boost tourism amid an economic crisis and falling visitor numbers.Visitors from Qatar,...

An agent fighting against financial...

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Business

Over the last few decades financial crime has increasingly become a concern to financial institutions. It has become widely recognised that the prevalence of economically...

Engineering sparks Kahima

2 days ago - 16 August 2019 | Business

Elizabeth JosephSarah Kahima’s choice of pursuing a degree in electrical engineering has a lot to do with what sparked an interest In her while she...

Load More