Friday, January 15, 2021

Mogoditshane Sub-Land board mum on the land audit issue

Mogoditshane Sub Land Board has to this date not responded to a request by the Mogoditshane Sub District Council that it (Land board) executes a land audit in the areas surrounding Mogoditshane, Gabane, Metsimotlhabe and Mmopane.

This is despite the fact that the sub district council informed the land board through a letter dated 19th August 2012, and a follow-up letter dated 10th October, which was hand delivered. The request came through a motion moved by the Councillor for Gabane North East, Ofentse Mareme, during the 23rd-27th July sub full council meeting.

The councillors unanimously adopted the motion.

Commenting on the response given by the Senior Assistant Council Secretary, Steven Motlogelwa, regarding the issue, Councillor Molatedi Tona Selala advised that it is important that the Land Board knew it was not alone in matters concerning land. That the council should ensure its voice is heard on the issue. They as Councillors are representing people and the Land Board should not undermine their mandate.

“The Land Board should at least have written something to show that there is some action being taken about the council’s request. Not absolute silences. The land board should create time to come and address us,” said Selala.

Some of the reasons Mareme gave when tabling the motion were that there was need to investigate the 1993 residential plot allocation waiting list, which the Land Board claimed to be still attending to, to find out how many plots had been allocated. Allocations were on-going, though the list stopped in 1994.

The audit would help give a clue as to how much was spent in surveying Gabane Block 2. Some plots were allocated close (about two metres away or less) to a pipeline that is putting the residents’ lives at risk should anything happen, leading to the explosion of the big pipeline. The cost of relocating the plots or the pipeline should also come out clear after the audit.

The audit will also perhaps help on the problem of double allocation; which he said is done deliberately.

“What they do is they allocate a plot to an applicant whom they know applied but did not turn up for a meeting. From there when the applicant who actually attended comes with a plot number for the plot they have already given out, they look for another plot and ask the applicant to wait, saying they accidentally allocated a different person. They never investigate to find how the mistake happened. They are always hastily correcting mistakes,” he said.

The call for land audit has attracted a lot of media coverage recently. The Botswana Land board Union’s Secretary General was recently quoted by Sunday Standard as having called for land audit all over the country. An unregistered group is also preparing to submit a petition with 50 000 signatures, to the Lands and Housing Minister, querying about residential plots allocation and, among the petition’s demands, is the call for land audit.

Meanwhile, Mareme had also during the past sub council sitting asked the Ministry of Trade to state how many Brick Moulding Companies are operating in Mogoditshane/Thamaga Sub District but owned by foreigners. To this the response was that there are no foreign-owned licensed companies manufacturing bricks in Mogoditshane/Thamaga Sub District Council; the only Bricks molding companies operating in the Sub District are citizen owned and joint venture owned at medium and large scale.

During the same sitting of 23rd-27th July also, the Councillor for Kumakwane, Winnie Cassim, had tabled a motion requesting the Ministry of Transport and Communication to mark pedestrian crossing near the bus stop and near Hope Liquor Restaurant at Ramaphatle along Gaborone-Kanye road. The ministry was informed through a letter dated 19th August 2012 and a follow up letter dated 10th October 2012 and the response is still awaited.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper