Over 6 000 communal land rights registered

24 June 2020 | Local News

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



A total of 6 189 communal land rights have been registered in Namibia during the 2019/20 financial year.

These include 5 974 customary rights, 200 leaseholds and 15 occupational land rights.

The Communal Land Reform Act of 2002 makes it clear that all communal land areas vest in the state and that communal land cannot be sold as freehold land to any person.

While individuals or entities cannot own communal land, they may obtain land rights to certain areas of the land.



129 000 rights

Since the Act has come into force, a total of 129 168 of the estimated 245 00 communal land rights have been registered.

The Omusati Region has registered the highest number at 39 469, followed Ohangwena at 28 624 and Oshana at 17 265.

In his budget motivation, agriculture, water and land reform minister Calle Schlettwein said the overall objective of the Programme for Communal Land Development is to improve rural communities' livelihoods through the development of communal lands and a better integration into the mainstream economy.

The major activities under this programme are support in communal land registration, support to the development of integrated regional land use plans, infrastructure development in designated areas and provision of advisory services to farmers in designated areas.



Optimising production

For this financial year, the ministry will be seized with efforts aimed at optimising production on about 290 000 hectares of resettlement farms through the development of communal areas, Schlettwein said.

A total of N$131 million has been allocated through co-financing with development partners, of which government's contribution amounts to N$58 million.

Meanwhile, under the flexible land tenure system, the ministry plans to issue 931 titles to beneficiaries in Gobabis, Oshakati and Windhoek.

The system is an innovative concept to provide affordable security of tenure to inhabitants in informal settlements countrywide.



Pilot

The ministry, in collaboration with the rural development ministry, is currently piloting the system in Oshakati, where 56 titles were issued in the Onawa settlement.

The land reform ministry intends to commence with planning the area, conducting feasibility studies and surveying blocks of the land made available for the project's implementation.

Furthermore, the ministry has systematically worked on a phased approach to rehabilitate dilapidated farm infrastructure on some resettlement farms and reduce the current backlog.

To this end, it procured and installed 157 solar pumping systems on 157 farming units, benefiting 157 individual resettled farmers.

Additionally, six boreholes were drilled on three farms in Khomas and another three farms in Erongo.



Fenced off

Furthermore, two game farms allocated under the resettlement programme were fenced off in Otjozondjupa and Kunene for a distance of 59 kilometres.

The above activities were achieved at a cost of N$8 million.

This financial year, the ministry intends to install water infrastructure systems at 120 farming units to sustain farming activities out of the current backlog of 374 units.

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