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Expropriation of foreign-owned land to take 6 years

Expropriation of foreign-owned land to take 6 years

Zorena Jantze

 

LAND has always been a contentious issue in Namibia and a newly released update report on the 2nd National Land Conference has stated that it would take a total of 5 to 6 years to expropriate agricultural land from foreigners, with just compensation.

 

The Expropriation of Agricultural Land from Foreigners is amongst a total of 176 resolutions which were passed in the 2nd land conference which took place in 2018, where a plethora of organizations, as well as individuals, converged to discuss matters pertaining to equitable access to land in the country.

 

In its report, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform (MAWLR) stated that the Expropriation of Agriculture Land from Foreigners with just compensation is still ongoing and will take a total of 5 to 6 years to complete

 

The report stated that MAWLR has identified (281) farms totalling 1,376,086.7010 ha which are owned by foreign nationals, and added that the expropriation process will however be cumbersome as land purchase prices are different for each individual farm even for farms that are located in the same Agro-ecological zoning (AEZ). The ministry further added that farm prices are fluctuating, thus land will be purchased based on a Market value.

 

The report noted that from the total of 176 resolutions passed, to date a total of 9 Resolutions are done, 142 Resolutions are ongoing, 1 pending, and 25 resolutions were already in existence prior to the 2nd NLC. The report further explained that 1 Resolution was not part of the original signed document which brings the total resolutions to 177.

 

The report further added that the willing buyer and willing seller resolution has been successfully implemented as the principle is entrenched in Article 16 of the Constitution that bestows persons with the right to sell and buy property in Namibia.

 

With regard to developing and implementing an accelerated land delivery method resolution, the commission stated that this policy is still ongoing and would take a total of 10 years to implement.

 

The commission further added that the two methods of land acquisition are sufficient.

 

“So far the market has delivered land for acquisition. However, the power of acquisition relies on the status of an economy at a given time. It is the status of the economy that informs how much can be spent. While this program continues to receive funding through an Annual Appropriation, the current economic turbulences did not allow the increase of funds for land purchase,” the report noted.

 

The agriculture ministry also stated that since the 2nd National Land Conference the Ministry purchased 26 farms with a combined size of 144,128.5798 hectares at a price of N$ 285,080,169.65 from November 2018 to date and utilized all appropriated budget for land acquisition.

 

From the 26 farms purchased the ministry has mapped the resettlement process and the current timeframe from acquisition to actual resettlement is 6 to 7 months.

 

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