Summary of the Second National Land Conference key resolutions as presented by Minister of Information and Communication Technology, Stanley Simataa during a press briefing on Saturday afternoon at MICT head office:
On the Thematic Areas: Commercial Land reform Programmes and Related Matters:
The conference resolved to abolish the Willing Seller-Willing Buyer, as a primary method of land acquisition, and agreed to implement the expropriation of land within the confines of the Namibian Constitution, which include with just compensation.
The conference also resolved to develop national land valuation models to address high land prices.
The conference resolved to expropriate foreign owned agricultural land, and to also subject the under-utilized commercial farms owned by Namibians to expropriation.
The conference agreed to a principle of One Namibian-One Farm.
The conference resolved to develop strategies to ensure food security. In this context, government is requested to prioritise the development of a desalination plant, for the use of such water to irrigate the land in the desert along the Namib Desert, and develop it for national food production, given erratic rainfall and risk of droughts.
On the resettlement programme, the conference resolved to review all policies related to this programme, and also to develop pre-and post-resettlement support programmes for the farmers.
The conference reiterated the need of the dispossessed and landless Namibians, and resolved that the allocation of land should be on 70:30 basis in favour of dispossessed communities and the veterans of the liberation struggles and the latter’s dependents.
The needs and pririotisation of designated groups was also resolved to be taken into account in the resettlement programmes and land reform, and this include the youth, women, marginalized communities, persons with disabilities and veterans of the liberation struggle.
On the Thematic Area: Communal Land reform Programme, some of the major resolutions include:-
The implementation of local sourcing by government to cater for the market needs of the farmers north of the veterinary cordon fence, and government to continue with efforts to address the issues on the removal of the veterinary cordon fence as a long term issue.
To ensure land rights, the conference urged all Traditional Authorities to implement the Communal Land Reform Act, 2002, and to register the rights of all communal households and farmers.
The conference also resolved that the government must support measures to ensure that communities without communal land are provided with such land; and also that issues of unrecognized traditional leaders are attended.
The Conference resolved that government assist the traditional authorities in enforcing the provisions of the Communal Land Reform Act 2002 to address illegal fencing, which is rife in communal areas.
The conference also resolved that government develop regulations to compel Traditional Authorities to consult communities before allocating land.
The conference also noted the diminishing spaces in communal areas, for both human and livestock. In this regard, the conference agreed that government, where feasible, enlarge the communal areas, by for example purchasing commercial farms adjacent to communal areas, and integrating such purchased farms to become part of the communal area. In this context, the peculiarity of each communal area would be considered.
The conference also encouraged large communal farmers to be relocated to commercial areas, in order to free grazing for communal areas.
With regards to Thematic Area: Urban Land reform and related matters,
The conference developed a number of resolutions, which mandate government to develop appropriate policies and reform programmes, and also to disallow the ownership of urban land to foreigners.
With regards to the Thematic Area: Land Tax & Valuation System and
The conference agreed to fully implement the progressive tax system, and to also introduce a tax for absentee landlords.
On the valuation of land, the conference resolved that government should implement the Property Valuers Act, 2012.
The Thematic Area: Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution.
On this theme,
I wish to indicate that the conference agreed to freely discuss this subject matter. This is contrary to some views that this matter was not to be discussed at the conference.
The conference noted that there is need for common understanding on the issue of Ancestral Land Rights and Restitution. It is in this regard that the conference resolved that government establishes a commission to investigate the matter, and make appropriate recommendations to government. The terms of reference for the commission will be developed.
The conference also resolved that government identifies alternative restorative methods to address the plight of landless communities.
The conference also noted the change of names from colonial names, and resolved that government should initiate the process of renaming the distorted colonial names back to original traditional names, where there are no controversies.
2018-10-08 09:15:10 9 months ago