The government has appointed outgoing land board members on a temporary basis, beginning this week until the end of March.
The Minister of Lands and Housing, Nonofo Molefhi, last week wrote to Land Board Secretaries across the country, informing them to implement the decision.
The minister, through a savingram authored by the acting permanent secretary, says that “some unforeseen circumstances” will delay the new system of appointing members of the land boards.
Land board members whose terms of office expired in December 2010 were to be temporarily appointed beginning Monday this week (17 January) until 31 March.
Molefhi says the dispensation is meant to facilitate key functions of the Land Boards, such as signing of leases and completion of some pending and “very urgent businesses” of the Boards.
Cabinet decided last year that land board members would cease to be elected by members of the community. Anybody interested in serving as a member has to apply and be interviewed by a panel consisting of the Chief, District Commissioner, Council Secretary, Land Board Secretary and a representative of the community.
The panel then forwards a list of recommended names to the minister who would appoint land board members from the list.
Some land boards, such as the Malete Land Board, have since submitted names to Molefhi and are awaiting the minister’s response. The Land Board members constitute both elected members and members appointed by the minister in terms of the Tribal Land Act.