Saturday, July 31, 2021

Number of land seekers in Botswana keeps growing

Despite the high demand and outcry by scores of Batswana across the country, land allocation seems to be slower than desired. Latest numbers on people wishing to acquire land through allocation as shared by government authorities over the past years shows that the numbers keep growing. 

For instance, during the financial year 2016/17, the government has been able to allocate only 344 residential plots in urban areas. This number includes 13 in Gaborone, 67 in Lobatse, 131 in Francistown, 31 in Selebi Phikwe, 2 in Kasane.

Permanent Secretary in the Land Management ministry – Bonolo Khumotaka admits that the Ministry is inundated with ever increasing demand for serviced land across the various land tenures.

“The Ministry is faced with challenges of land allocation waiting period, our waiting list currently stands at 637,399 under which 15 percent (97,159) is for state land including SHHA applicants and 85 percent (540,240) for tribal land,” said Khumotaka. 

Khumotaka was speaking at the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) recently. She told the PAC that the Ministry has allocated 6738 residential plots during this financial year as compared to 7991 in the previous year. She stated that the allocations are comprised of 57 plots in urban areas owing to unavailability of plots in towns.

Meanwhile the ministry has acquired land to demarcate plots for village expansion at the cost of P22, 152, 536.54.

“To this end, 860,405 hectares has been acquired for village expansion at the cost of P22, 152 536.54 at the Land Boards jurisdictions and these include Ngwato, Kweneng, Tawana and Tati”, said Khumotaka. 

Meanwhile Khumotaka said to this end, 273.4 hectares of land has been allocated to investors in state land this financial year. She revealed that land servicing continues to be critical in the development of land as it renders it usable and facilitates access to plots. 

“Allocations to investors are not pre-targeted, the Ministry respond to the requests by investment facilitating agencies being SEZA, BITC, SPEDU and Government Ministries,” said Khumotaka. 

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