The Namibia Agricultural Union (NAU) , an umbrella institution that represents a vast number of White commercial farmers has added its voice to the land reform commotion calling for the expropriation of land but with what it called a fair compensation.
Without delving much into how fair is fair for them, but what the union said is that the ultimate aim of land reform in Namibia is to create employment and that farming should be financially successful on a sustainable basis and that productivity should be increased.
Said the union, “Representatives of the NAU have attended the regional meetings in all regions with title deeds, these are Karas, Hardap, Khomas, Omaheke, Erongo, Kunene and Otjozondjupa and gave inputs.”
“A program should be developed where resettled beneficiaries should get ownership of the land so that they can use it as collateral to further invest in the land. Mentorship programs and capacity increase is important in order to make the financial success of these new farmers sustainable,” it said.
It has challenged the ministry of Land Reform to release the figures of how much land was offered since 2008, how many ha of land were purchased by the ministry and how many ha were waived to be sold in the open market.
“This information should be made public in order to determine whether the willing buyer willing seller principle was successful or not. The improvement of the livestock marketing in the Northern Communal Area is of critical importance for economic growth. The NAU supports a structured implementing program to reach this aim under the guidance of the Directorate of Veterinary Services.”
The union said it was rooting for an expropriation process with fair compensation within the legal framework such as the Namibian Constitution and various legislation.
“Solutions must be found to get land in rural areas so that each Namibian can have a piece of land which he can call his home. Transfer of ownership to individuals in rural areas will contribute towards wealth and beneficiaries’ pride.”
“The NAU supports President Geingob’s vision as explained in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and also his request that all whites in Namibia should look for a solution for the land problem. White land owners however are not able to find solutions for this national matter alone and will thus have to further consult with President Geingob to get a better understanding of his vision,” it said.
Calls in some regional consultations ahead of the watershed land conference, a second of its nature since the 1990s, have been that land has to be taken from present owners without compensation, echoing sentiment from South Africa.
However, political outfits like the United People’s Movement have disregarded this altogether saying it will only benefit a few.