Communal land registration slow-paced

Government admits that communal land farmers have not heeded the call to register their pieces of land as decided by the authorities earlier, thus stagnating the process.
Out of the targeted 235 800 communal land farmers only 53 509 have registered their pieces of land under the Communal Land Reform Act 2002, The Villager established.
Government through the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement is running a campaign to register all communal land to alleviate disputes.
The campaign is still ongoing and is expected to end next year February.
But Chief Development Planner in the ministry’s department of Land Reform and Resettlement, Justin Milinga admits that is has been slow.
He says one of the important aspects of this project is ‘for coordinated development, give security over land and eliminate disputes’.
Milinga said the response from all regions was good even though slow-paced, except for the Kavango Region that showed resistance in the beginning.
“But there has been change with people starting to see the need, importance and potential benefits of the project,” he said.
The ministry hopes to reach the set target and is currently looking at various ways and strategies to make people aware and cooperate.
To heighten the registration process, the ministry advertises, and organises meetings with traditional authorities.
Deputy Director and spokesman at the ministry, Chrispin Matongela, said the registration exercise started a long time ago and the ministry has been extending the deadlines to try and get as many people to respond.
He said in the beginning, people were a bit skeptic about the project before they understood the benefits.
“The Ministry did a lot of outreach projects to educate the people about the issue and also involved the regional officers to get the information to the people,” Matongela said.
He added that the people can apply directly to the traditional authority or communal land boards for registering up to 20 hectares of land.
Matongela explained that when the land applied for is more than 20 hectares, people have to apply directly to the ministry whose investigating team will checks the information supplied and the history of the applicant to see if claims made are true.
He stressed that if there is need to extend the deadline, it will be done.