Thursday, October 28, 2021

Dikgosi to be ex-officio land board members

The Ministry of Land and Housing has taken a decision to include the Paramount Chiefs around the country in land allocations.

Currently, Land Board members (6 to 8 of them) are elected by the public into the board.
The Minister will no longer be given the opportunity to specially elect members of his choice into the board.  

Land and Housing Minister, Nonofo Molefhi, said this when he addressed a kgotla meeting on Tuesday at the Batlokwa main Kgotla. He said that the duties of the Dikgosi will be to advise the board on land issues and to mediate and neutralize the board.

“This is to professionalize the board,” said Molefhi. He said that the Land Boards are moving away from the kgotla system, whereby candidates were elected by the public to be board members. He said that local internal villagers will have to start doing applications to be board members.

“The Dikgosi are public officers and they will be only entitled to sitting allowances, while in the long run the board members’ monthly allowances will be cut off,” said Molefhi.┬á

This decision comes after the Ministry and the nation have been experiencing land shortages, which resulted in long waiting lists.

“Resources also have never been enough and this has delayed service delivery,” said Molefhi.

The minister said the Ministry is in the process of registering all residential, commercial, freehold and State land applications to computerize the system. “It is 2 years now and after 5 years we will be in a position to know where every one’s plot is and when and how they acquired it,” said Molefhi.

He also raised concern about squatter camps country wide and about the illegal buying and selling of residential plots at very low prices, particularly to non citizens.

“The population is increasing daily, it is high time we introduced a ‘one man one plot’ policy,” said Molefhi.

He stated that plot owners who sold their plots will automatically be blacklisted and will never get a new plot.

Due to land shortage, Molefhi encouraged the residents of Tlokweng to start building town flats for selling and for rentals in order to save space. He said that lately residential allocation of plots have been pushing communal and freehold lands.

“No land usage should inconvenience the other one,” said Molefhi. ┬á┬á
Tlokweng resident, Morwadi Podile, criticized the idea of constructing flats, stating that it kills their tradition of backyard burials.

“At the ages of 70 to 80, elders and other disabled people are not fit enough to go upstairs,” said Podile.

She said she was disappointed with other practices at the Tlokweng Land Board.

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