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Namibians divided on land reform

Namibians divided on land reform

Zorena Jantze

ONLY about half of Namibians rate the government’s land resettlement programme as effective, and four in ten say land should be expropriated without compensation and given to the landless, a new Afrobarometer survey indicates. 

 

The Afrobarometer team in Namibia, led by Survey Warehouse, interviewed 1,200 adult Namibians in August 2019. 

 

A sample of this size yields country-level results with a margin of error of +/-3 percentage points at a 95% confidence level.

 

The study found that by a narrow margin, expropriation beats out the current willing-buyer, willing-seller policy among citizens’ preferences. 

 

Afrobarometer further outlined that land reform remains among the top 10 problems that Namibians want the government to address, but the country’s crippling drought, water supply and other issues have superseded land on their list of priorities.

CITIZEN VIEWS: picture for illustrative purposes only. 

Slightly more than half (52%) of Namibians say the government’s land resettlement programme is “somewhat” or “very” effective in redistributing land to those who need it most, while 37% rate the programme as “not at all effective” or “not very effective”.

 

A stronger majority (58%) see the government’s provision of serviced land and housing in urban areas as effective.

 

Asked about their preferences for land reform, a plurality (41%) of Namibians say the government should expropriate land without any compensation and give it to those without land. 

 

Slightly fewer (36%) believe the current policy of willing-buyer, willing seller is adequate and should be continued. Only 16% say that no further land reform is necessary and the current policy should be discontinued.

 

The survey further found that drought, water supply, and other issues have superseded land among Namibians as “most important problems” for the government to address. 

 

About one in eight respondents (13%) cite land among their three priorities.

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