Land Boards across the country are sitting on land application backlogs that number over half-a-million, some date as far back as the early 1990s.
Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee hearing last week, accounting officer at the lands ministry, Bonolo Khumotaka revealed the number of applicants on the waiting list to be over 650,000. She attributed the delays in allocating plots to increasingly landless Batswana to the price of servicing the land before allocation and the reluctance of some people to release land to government. As Khumotaka put it, to prepare land for allocation, one plot would set back the State by P150,000 or close to P100 billion for the whole waiting list (a whopping 650,000). The servicing means connecting water, electricity, drainage systems and in some instances, internal roads. Government’s land policy is that land must be planned and surveyed before allocation. This system may have had good intentions, but it also comes with its own baggage. Land Boards across the country cannot meet targets to allocate land, as the land is there, but not serviced. The land policy in the long run will come in handy as people need social amenities, but in the short term it is impractical looking at the growing anger from the public. People want land. 650, 000 of them. The number of buildings, both residential and commercial buildings, sprouting across the country as soon as land is allocated, can evidence this hunger. While the cost of servicing land is understandable owing to other needs like education, health and others, honestly there should be a way around the issues with the central aim of