Friday, September 25, 2020

Land allocation backlog nears 700 000 countrywide

About 700 000 applicants for both tribal and state land await to be allocated land.

Permanent Secretory (PS) in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services (MLWS) Bonolo Khumotaka appearing before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) said the waiting list currently stands at 686, 952 of which 11 percent are applications for state land while the remaining 89 is for tribal land applications.

She stated that this is due to limited resources across the land value chain of acquisition, planning, strategic environmental assessment surveying, geotechnical investigations and servicing

Khumotaka revealed that cost of fully servicing the plots to deliver on the waiting lists will require P94 billion adding that this far exceeds the annual budget for the country. She said on the allocation from waiting list, residential tare allocated free of charge in tribal areas and at highly subsidized rates in urban areas.

“We are reviewing the Land Servicing Strategy for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in land servicing with the intention to introduce cost recovery measures. In addition the ministry is looking into giving applicants the choice to be allocated minimally serviced land instead of fully serviced land,” she said.

Khumotaka further revealed that the longest applicant waiting period is 27 years in tribal land at Mogoditshane while the shortest waiting period is one day at Hukuntsi village with the average waiting period being 13 years. 

She stated that in state land, the longest applicant waiting period is 30 years in Gaborone while the shortest waiting period is four years in Francistown with the average waiting period of 16 years.

“The ministry has acquired ploughing fields, promoted change of land use and plot size reductions,” she said. 

She stated that to this end, a piece of land measuring 670.5 hectares has been acquired for village expansions at the cost of P29 million at Kgalagadi, Ngwaketse, Ngwato, Tati, Tawan, Ghanzi and Kgatleng Land Boards. 

She added that on the o0ther hand, thy have reviewed the Tribal Land Act to provide for market value in Land compensation valuations in other to facilitate re-purposing and transfer of held tribal rights to alternative uses.

Quizzed on land servicing, she stated that she stated that minimal servicing (de-bushing, grading of roads water) average cost per plot is P5 000. She added that for bulk servicing the average cost per plot is P15 000 while full servicing average cost per plot is P150 000.

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