The Namibian (Windhoek)

19 November 2012

Namibia: Hochfeld Evictees Considered for Resettlement

ABOUT 200 families evicted from a Hochfeld farm in November last year were advised by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement to apply for resettlement.

But Lands and Resettlement Minister Alpheus !Naruseb said in Parliament last week that the Land Reform Advisory Commission in August this year found that the evictees did not need land for agricultural purposes under the resettlement programme, but land for residential purposes with access to social amenities like schools, clinics and other services.

Following recommendations of the commission, the ministry is now investigating the possibility of allocating farming units under the so-called social welfare resettlement model, which !Naruseb said is similar to the group resettlement project.

The model, he said, is currently under discussion which is aimed at catering for communities that require land for residential purposes but need access for grazing land for a few livestock.

The 200 mostly aged former farmworkers, evicted from Hochfeld and temporarily taken to a corridor in the vicinity of Farm Brabant No 403, own 31 goats and no other livestock, !Naruseb said.

He said some of them had found part-time work on surrounding farms.

The ministry has advised this community to apply for resettlement on a unit of a livestock farm in the Kunene Region.

!Naruseb said under the social welfare resettlement model they would receive targeted assistance and services as part of post-settlement support which would address the needs of the elderly.

“The Ministry of Lands and Resettlement is fully aware of the needs and plight of these people,” said !Naruseb.

He said there had been extensive consultations with other ministries, notably the health and regional and local government ministries, to find immediate and long-term sustainable solutions that would inprove the living standards of the community.

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