2 October 2017

Namibia: //Karas Governor Warns Against Illegal Land Sub-Letting

//KARAS governor Lucia Basson has warned resettlement farmers in the region that illegal sub-letting of land and illegal hunting, which she says have become prevalent, will not be tolerated.

"Take note that the //Karas Regional Council's land officials are fully aware of those farmers who are contravening the lease agreements. So my dear farmers, be warned not to engage in such activities," she cautioned.

The governor made the call on Friday at the official handover of farming units allocated under the land reform programme to six beneficiaries at government's research farm, Gellap Ost, near Keetmanshoop.

The beneficiaries were allocated farming units in the Erongo, //Karas and Omaheke regions following the completion of a week-long post resettlement training at Gellap Ost.

Basson also urged government to acquire more land for resettlement purposes in //Karas region to benefit its inhabitants.

"We want more land for //Karas region's inhabitants," she said, adding that most of the region's inhabitants depend on livestock farming for a living.

Basson said she was delighted that one of the farmers who benefited from the latest land allotments in //Karas region is a member of the Aroab community.

"Ms Jessy Steenkamp is from a farming community which is struggling with access to land, and paying exorbitant prices on a monthly basis to the Aroab Village Council to graze their few livestock from which most are making a living," she said.

A group of farmers, who were farming at the Aroab Town Council camps, late last year illegally invaded the government farm to express their frustrations and anger after numerous of their applications for resettlement had been turned down.

The group calling themselves Aroab small-scale farmers are embroiled in a legal battle with government after defying an eviction notice to leave the land they invaded.

The group recently called on the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to investigate the //Karas regional resettlement committee over allocating a farm to Steenkamp, who apparently did not meet the criteria with regard to the number of animals she should possess to be eligible for resettlement.

Steenkamp said she also heard about the call to ACC to investigate her allocation of land under the government land reform programme.

"Yes, I heard about it, and I am waiting," she stated.

luqman@namibian.com.na

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