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Francistown City Council fights Tati Company for land

LESEDI MKHUTSHWA
FRANCISTOWN: Tati Company, a British-registered firm that owns a large chunk of land in the northeastern part of the country may find itself embroiled in a legal battle with the Francistown City Council (FCC).

Francistown mayor Sylvia Muzila this week indicated that the council’s bid to gain full access to one of its farms is blocked by land owned by Tati Company (TC).

TC sold the farm in question to the city council.

When giving a keynote address during the full council session Muzila revealed that during the past two years, several attempts were made to reach an amicable solution with land mogul TC in relation to accessing the farm, which is approximately 139 hectares.

“It is with great regret to inform you that we have not seen much coming out of our efforts. To this effect, the town clerk has written a letter of demand to the seller to act accordingly (help the FCC access the farm) and failure to which legal

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action will be pursued,” she said.

Various critics of the company have often expressed concern as to why the firm still holds large chunks of land while many Batswana are in dire need of land for residential and agricultural use among others.

According to media reports TC’s 2016 accounts, sourced from the UK company register, valued the company’s net assets at P366 million (about R470 million today) and its pre-tax earnings from the ownership and trading of land at P42 million (R54 million), with the profit mainly coming from the upward revaluation of its land holdings.

One expert has alleged that together with other absentee landlords and freehold farmers, Tati owns more than 40% of land in northeastern Botswana. Tati directors are reportedly based in South Africa.



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