Windhoek-Namibians should not expect acquiring tremendous numbers of farms for resettlement during the 2018/19 financial year. Minister of Land Reform Utoni Nujoma said that the N$120 million budgeted for the 2018/19 Land Purchase Sub-Programme will more or less bring in the same results as the previous financial year. “Unless more consideration is done in the subsequent MTEF (Medium-Term Expenditure Framework), we should not expect tremendous numbers of farms to be acquired for resettlement,” said Nujoma when motivating his ministry’s budget of N$476 million last week in parliament.
During the previous financial year the government acquired 11 farms measuring 44,952,5177 hectares at a total cost of N$113 million.
Throughout the same period 28 farmers, of whom 15 are men and 13 women, were resettled, a number Nujoma said falls short of the demand for land, which according to him is still significantly high and keeps escalating.
Furthermore, Nujoma said 286,000 hectares of land have been developed with 857 km of fencing, 20 multipurpose kraals constructed, 30 new boreholes drilled, 35 boreholes rehabilitated, and 98 kilometres of water pipelines installed in the Kavango East, Kavango West, Ohangwena, Omusati and Zambezi regions.
He said infrastructural development would benefit 7,800 farming households, thus bringing communities in touch with real benefits. Nujoma told lawmakers that infrastructure provision in other regions such as Otjozondjupa and Omaheke is expected to commence in the next-financial year.
Additionally, Nujoma told lawmakers that tenure to enhance security in communal areas through the registration of land rights continues and 177,593 communal land rights were mapped and digitised, representing 90 percent out of the 196,000 communal land rights nationally that can be registered. He said a total of 116,220 customary land rights have been registered, presenting 65 percent of the communal land rights currently digitised, while 101,432 certificates were issued countrywide.
The minister says upon completion the programme will improve the livelihood of over 500,000 citizens.
Nujoma said in line with the ministry’s quest to improve and contribute to the ease of doing business in Namibia, during the 2017/18 financial year a total of 21,894 deeds and 3,776 sectional titles were registered, and through these processes over N$2.5 million was collected as revenue.
He said the project to computerise property registration is ongoing and so far 44,898 deeds documents were digitised.