Monday, December 11, 2023

Gov’t must expedite land allocation to applicants on the waiting list

The inordinate allocation of land to applicants for various uses ranging from  residential, commercial, industrial to other uses is a serious blight to Botswana’s economic development agenda. The delay of allocation is a ticking time bomb that should be diffused without any further delay.

Other countries are currently in turmoil because of the land issue and Botswana government must do all in its power to expedite the issue of land allocation. Not only that, there are currently vast tracts of land throughout the country whose ownership is in question and government does not seem to have any plausible answers on what must be done to acquire the land and allocate it to potential users. 

It comes out clearly that vast pockets of land are in possession of absentee land lords who have not developed the land nor appear to be intending to develop it anytime soon which in our view is undermining  and  detrimental to the country’s economic development well-being.

The issue of delivery of serviced land is a serious economic blight that this country is grappling with. We call on the government to devise all possible means to expeditiously attend to these issues without fail. For the umpteenth time we implore government to do all in its power to address this debilitating problem with the vigour and zeal that it requires.

Scores of Batswana have been on the waiting lists of Land Boards, Department of Lands and other government agencies charged with the responsibility to allocate residential, commercial and industrial plots for far too long.

Delayed delivery of serviced land is not only rampant at the Land Boards. It is spread across all sectors that are responsible for delivery of serviced land.

Government’s failure to deliver serviced land expeditiously is no doubt impeding Botswana’s economic development.

It is further negatively impacting on the quality of lives of many people since shelter is a basic commodity and human right.

Failure by the relevant authorities to deliver serviced land is also brewing corruption as evidenced by the growing number of land scam cases.

The situation on the ground is abominable. Waiting lists are soaring by the day. Some elements within our society have resorted to cutting corners in order to gain land for either residential or commercial activities.

We are concerned that government serviced land drive, is to say the least, sloppy.

Failure by relevant authorities to expeditiously deliver serviced land is a serious cause for concern. It breeds too many societal ills like corruption and squatting. The Francistown land scam is a case in point. It is not the only land corruption case that has been dealt with as the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) is investigating numerous land corruption cases throughout the country.

These societal ills bred by inordinate land delivery are not condonable. We only mention them in passing because we aware that failure of delivery of such an important service has frequently led some within our society to resort to cutting corners and thereby committing these unpardonable but avoidable offences. Government must therefore rise to the occasion and allocate land to prospective applicants timeously.


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