Thursday, January 21, 2021

Tribal authority retracts attempt to block allocation of Kanye plots

More than 7,000 controversial residential plots in Kanye Village will be given to applicants following a decision by the Ngwaketsi Tribal Authority to step back from blocking use of land around Mmakgodumo area. The land belongs to the royal family.

After the drawn-out clash in which the tribal authority threatened to bar the allocation of plots around the area, Kgosi Malope confirmed to Sunday Standard this week that the tribal authority had agreed for the land board to use the land for residential purposes.

Malope said the decision taken is in the best interest of Kanye residents. ┬á“We decided that the land should be for residential purposes because it better serves the interest of Bangwaketsi who are in dire need of residential plots,” he said. “This means the land from around Mmakgodumo area will be used for residential purposes as the land board wanted.”

Through Bathoeng Sanctuary Board, the royal family is preparing to develop Mmakgodumo area into a wild life sanctuary and National Park.

Bathoeng Sanctuary Board member, Pointius Mokgosana, told this newspaper they had no choice but to allow the allocations to go on because “Ngwaketsi district Council spent millions of pula on developing the land into a settlement.” ┬á

He said they would only allow them to use the land which is already developed. The area to be developed into a tourist destination is 1.6 kilometers from around the dam, which forms part of the tourist attractions. At the time of going to the press, the Ngwaketsi Land Board Public Relations Officer, John Motsatsing, was not available to comment.

The board and the council have in the past made it clear that the allocations would go on regardless of the tribal authority’s objection.

Commenting on the issue, Wildlife Warden from the Department of Wildlife and Tourism, Israel Kaisara, said tourism places should be distanced from residential places in order to avoid degradation of nature such as vegetation forming part of tourism attractions. 

The Warden said it was unfortunate that in its bid to turn back the allocation of plots in order to have a vacant land around Mmakgodumo, the tribal authority was not backed by the law as this country does not have acts dictating that tourism places should be distanced from residential places.

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