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

 

Rain brings challenges for farmers

2 days ago - 22 November 2017 | Agriculture

While rain is always a welcome delight for both livestock and crop farmers, it also comes with challenges for farmers as the fresh fodder can...

Working the fields

2 days ago - 22 November 2017 | Agriculture

The season for planting has officially arrived and farmers should be busy preparing the land for cultivation and planting.Establishing a crop means that seeds or...

Mutton still under pressure

1 week ago - 16 November 2017 | Agriculture

The domestic supply of sheep to export abattoirs in Namibia remains under pressure with a decrease of 23.59% in the number of sheep slaughtered at...

Omusati addresses food security

1 week ago - 16 November 2017 | Agriculture

Following the success of the 'Operation Tulongeni 2017', inhabitants of the Omusati Region have overwhelmingly donated towards region's food bank.The regional food bank is aimed...

Orchards doing blooming well

1 week ago - 15 November 2017 | Agriculture

The agriculture ministry is satisfied with the progress made by its tree-planting project that was launched in 2003 and has created hundreds of jobs.The project's...

Etunda turns to groundnuts

1 week ago - 14 November 2017 | Agriculture

Fear of a repetition of last summer's loss of 90 hectares of maize to the armyworm infestation, the green scheme at Etunda will not plant...

Resettled farmers contribute to food security

2 weeks ago - 09 November 2017 | Agriculture

Resettled farmers can contribute to food security at national, regional and international level.According to deputy lands minister Priscilla Boois, rising food costs have dire consequences...

Swakara celebrates 110 years

2 weeks ago - 08 November 2017 | Agriculture

The Swakara industry last week celebrated their 110th anniversary in Keetmanshoop. The annual general meeting, which was also attended by representatives from Copenhagen Fur and...

Drought assistance to resettled farmers

2 weeks ago - 08 November 2017 | Agriculture

An initiative to support commercial farmers in the drought stricken south has now spread to include resettled and communal farmers. An initiative was launched whereby...

Livestock abortions worsen

3 weeks ago - 02 November 2017 | Agriculture

The Namibian Agricultural Union (NAU) has issued an urgent notice to livestock producers requesting information regarding the high incidences of abortions in livestock in the...

Latest News

Kasuto, MUN lose again in...

7 hours ago | Justice

An urgent court application seeking to stop the National Union of Namibian Workers (NUNW) delegates from taking part in the ongoing Swapo congress was struck...

Brave Warriors move up FIFA...

11 hours ago | Sports

The Namibian national senior football team moved up 10 places on the latest Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) world rankings.Namibia moved from 129 to 119th...

Swapo congress kicks off

11 hours ago | Politics

The much-anticipated elective congress of the ruling party has started in Windhoek with over 760 delegates as well as invited guests attending this morning’s opening...

Alweendo seeks US help to...

1 day - 23 November 2017 | Economics

Tom Alweendo, the minister of economic planning and director-general of the National Planning Commission (NPC), has asked the United States of America to help stem...

Debmarine plans world’s biggest offshore...

1 day - 23 November 2017 | Business

Anglo American's diamond unit De Beers has ordered a new US$142 million diamond mining ship as part of its strategy to grow its offshore operations,...

Population grows by 200 000...

1 day - 23 November 2017 | Economics

The estimated population of Namibia grew from 2 113 077 in 2011 to 2 324 388 in 2016, which represents a 10%, according to the...

Hope and scepticism among Zim...

1 day - 23 November 2017 | International

When the sun rose over Zimbabwe yesterday morning, a 37-year-old reality was changed forever with the resignation of Robert Mugabe on Tuesday evening. He resigned...

Boy 7, raped by girl,...

1 day - 23 November 2017 | Crime

A seven-year-old boy was raped at a house in Block E, Rehoboth, on 15 November. In their daily crime bulletin, the police say the boy...

ACC wants more teeth

1 day - 23 November 2017 | Justice

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) is appealing to the government to make adequate financial and human resources available to it to meet huge expectations from the...

Load More