TSINTSABIS – The community of Tsintsabis fear the proclamation of the area as a settlement will push them to the periphery of landlessness and homelessness as the majority will not be able to afford the living standards.
The area is mainly inhabited by the San community, whose livelihood is dependent on agricultural employment on surrounding farms as well as pension and social grants.
“As much as we understand the initiative and the decision to formalise Tsintsabis, we still feel this development will cripple and lead many of us to become landless. We do understand that there will be compensation, but where will these people go? Definitely, they will squat with families, but for how long with they stay? This is what leads to land grabbing at the end of the day,” stressed a concerned Moses //Khumub during a meeting this week with the regional council regarding proclamation of a settlement.
Moses further feels that the envisaged expansion will further exacerbate the situation as those residing at the peripheries of the township boundaries will be required to shift.
“We are a San community, where will we move to once we lose it here?” he opined. In response, the director for planning and development services Victoria Kapenda said development does not discriminate, thus the San community should shift to uplifting their lives through engaging in economical activities.
She also said all residents living in the settlement will be compelled to pay all charges within a settlement, irrespective of who it is.
“Government might not be able to feed the San forever, then what will happen? That is why they need to start now and work hard to be sustainable,” she remarked.
“We do understand the consequences that come with the establishment of a settlement, but nothing can be done as there are procudures to be followed such as surveying and planning.”
Tsintsabis was proclaimed a settlement in July this year. The size of the settlement measures 267 hectares.
Hendrick Mwatotele, the control administrator of Guinas consistency under which Tsintsabis falls, said the headmen will no longer have authority to allocate land once the Settlement Development Committee is in force.
“This will be the body running the affairs of the settlement as well as engaging external stakeholders,” he said. It is also through such service provisions that investors can come on-board and develop the area.
“Many people were troubling me to give them plots to develop, but I couldn’t as I had no power. Now is the time to come through and follow the right channels to seek land and build,” said regional councillor Betty Kaula.
“For the residents this place can only develop at a faster rate if we work together. We have to be united more than ever, and put differences aside. Work for a common purpose of building the settlement into a desired destination for all.”
The settlement already has a clinic, a combined school and hospitality facilities, which are complemented by commercial farms.