Botswana: Land Boards Up to Date On New Policies

Jwaneng — Communication with land boards across the country regarding new land policies has already been done, minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Kefentse Mzwinila has said.

Speaking during a kgotla meeting in Mabutsane on September 10, Mr Mzwinila said correspondence was first issued by the permanent secretary followed by a directive from the minister.

He was responding to a question from Mr Mephato Reatile who had enquired whether the new land policy had been communicated to the land boards.

Mr Reatile, formerly a specially elected member in the past immediate parliament, said land boards had not yet started implementing the policy which indicated they had not yet received relevant communication from their superiors on the changes.

The new provisions include that allowing the allocation of plots to each spouse and for multiple use of a piece of land apart from the purpose stated on the certificate.

"The policy now allows that pieces of land such as a ploughing field can be partly used for rearing, and that Batswana can now run guest houses from their residential areas provided proper channels have been followed," he said.

Mr Mzwinila said to make the process easier, the policy had removed some red tape such as the requirement for guest house parking lot.

"Government has also taken a decision to allow farmers to cluster ploughing fields into one large farm under ISPAAD. After that government will then help with seeking investors to lease that land with the benefits trickling down to the farmers," he said.

He said on a recent trip to South Africa, President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi met some farmers who indicated interest in leasing land in Botswana for purposes such as fruit farming.

Such farmers would also be encouraged to impart skills to locals, he said.

Mr Mzwinila said government revised the policy after citizens, through their MPs, pleaded that such adjustments be considered to allow flexible multi-purpose land use to enable them to make a living out of their land.

Government bought the idea because it had the potential to help create employment, he said.

<i>Source : BOPA</i>

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