10 October 2013

Namibia: NAU Supports Implementation of Land Distribution

THE 67th annual congress of the Namibia Agricultural Union (Nau) on Tuesday unanimously resolved to reaffirm commitment to pursue a constructive implementation of land distribution in Namibia.

According to yesterday's press release, the congress reaffirmed the union's commitment to the process of consultation with government and other players to bring about a successful and sustainable land reform.

The congress also confirmed its commitment to the payment of promulgated land tax on commercial farmland as part of its contribution to the desired land reform process.

However, Nau indicated that such land tax should be based on a transparent model, which needs to be suitable for the Namibian demographic requirements, fair, affordable, equitable and in line with international accepted tax laws.

Derek Wright, president of Nau, also said his union supports the introduction of land tax, which should be paid by all commercial farmers as compulsory tax for the purpose of acquiring and developing commercial land for resettlement purposes.

Wright added that the land tax is expected to contribute N$18 million annually to the Land Acquisition and Development Fund, increasing to N$30 million in five years time.

"Although this is statutory levy, the commercial farming sector sees this as a significant contribution to the land reform in Namibia and should be recognised as such by all stakeholders," Wright said.

Nau has been guided by the congress decision not to be confrontational with the government and to rather seek accommodation through negotiations, he said. He stated that the policy of land distribution is based on the fact that the ruling Swapo party has been elected by a clear majority of the electorate and, therefore, has the right to rule the country according to its manifesto.

Finally, the Nau president advised that delegates, who are currently pursuing a policy of confrontation, could cause the close down of communication channels with government.

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