Sunday, June 16, 2024

State tries to correct plots allocation tardiness

Government says it has increased the pace of allocation of un-serviced residential plots to Batswana with a total of 4 587 residential plots on un-serviced tribal land to date.

Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila told Parliament that a total of 22 952 un-serviced residential plots are planned to be allocated in the next financial year.  

He said Batswana have also embraced the initiative of allocating un-serviced residential plots and hailed it as a step in the right direction in the midst of economic challenges.

Mzwinila stated that in order to service all the plots to address the waiting list, government would require about P94 Billion which is not viable in the foreseeable future, considering both the financial and project implementation capacity for the country.  He added that the reason for the extremely high financial resources required for land servicing is that most of our infrastructure is directed towards servicing the plot.

“The plot is the consumptive or beneficiary unit for water, sewage, roads, electricity, telecommunications and storm water drainage. We have in that regard, increased our pace of allocation of un-serviced residential plots to Batswana,” said Mzwinila.

With respect to improvements on access to land, He further stated that Parliament on the 20th November 2020 adopted a motion that requested government to expedite relaxing requirements for land allocation. He said he motion acknowledged the fact that efforts by government to provide serviced residential land to citizens are being hampered by the limited resources.

Mzwinila said in the past, serviced land was the preserve of urban areas. He added that in the development path they have extended land servicing to tribal areas but did not extend cost recovery on the belief that tribal land is not sold. He said however, their knowledge is that tribal land has a value and more valuable when serviced.

“As of March 2020, the Ministry has allocated 585.45 hectares of land to investors across the various sectors of the economy through SPEDU, BITC and MoA. An additional 500 hectares has been reserved for SEZA in Block 12 in the City of Francistown for development of a Dry Port,” he said.

He said despite efforts to avail land for productive purposes, government is worried that allocated land remains fallow and un-developed beyond their mandatory development covenants dates.

He gave an example that, in Selibe–Phikwe, of the 88.02 hectares of industrial land, only 1.19 hectares have been developed. He observed that the trend is being observed across the country, which raises misgivings that the requests could have been made on speculative plans.

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