GOBABIS - The ministry land reform on Friday handed over 988 land hold titles, under the Flexible Land Tenure System, to the beneficiaries of Freedom Square informal settlement in Gobabis.
In a speech read by his deputy Anna Shiweda, minister Calle Schlettwein said the government introduced an inclusive idea to reform land tenure, of which the FLTS benefits people living in the informal settlements and those who earn low income that are unable to afford land under the freehold system.
He said government is committed to this cause in order to bring an end to informal settlements in towns and the country at large. Schlettwein added that the land hold titles will provide beneficiaries security of tenure to the land they occupy and enable them to build decent houses of their choice, while they could also be keys to access finance from financial institutions.
The government spent more than N$1.5 million on this project, with an amount of N$1.2 million spent as direct cost while an additional N$350 000 was spent as indirect cost.
“One of the uniqueness of the Flexible Land Tenure System is that the registration of the titles in the Land Rights Office is done free of charge by a government official, as opposed to a freehold registration system which is done by a conveyancer at a cost,” said Schlettwein.
Schlettwein thanked all the stakeholders in this project, including the government of the Federal Republic of Germany, which rendered technical and financial support through GIZ as well as the Gobabis municipality for availing free land where nine flexible land tenure schemes are established to manage a total of 1 110 residential plots.
“I am even happier to learn that the Gobabis municipality has already provided essential services to these plots such as water, sewer and access to roads. We need to applaud them for this because it is our wish that in the end, all beneficiaries under the Flexible Land Tenure System must have access to basic services.”
The representative of the Federal Republic of Germany Herbert Beck, in his speech delivered by Thomas Haenert of GIZ, said their engagement in urban land reform goes some way back but started in earnest with support to FLTS by GIZ in 2017, which played a technical role in bringing about the Flexible Land Tenure Act in May 2018.
Beck further said the German cooperation has committed to support this project and will also support many others.
“This technical cooperation project is only the first of further projects in a new priority area of Namibia-German cooperation for inclusive and sustainable urban development,” said Beck.
On their part, the Omaheke Regional Council’s chairperson Ignatius Kariseb said the regional leadership appreciates the FLTS and government’s efforts of ensuring access to land and improving living conditions of all Namibians.