Land Acquisition Expensive, Taxing For Gov't

Kefentse Mzwinila PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG
Kefentse Mzwinila PIC: PHATSIMO KAPENG

The Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila says acquisition of land from owners is a very expensive process that cannot be done across the country in one financial year.

He was answering a question from the Member of Parliament for Francistown West constituency Ignatius Moswaane, who asked if the minister is aware that Batswana have to wait for more than 20 years to be allocated plots.

In his response, Mzwinila outlined the compensation amount per hectare. He revealed that an undeveloped field is P3,000, partly developed field is between P4,650-P4,870, fully developed and partly destumped is P4,870-P5,090, while the fully developed field is P5,090-P8,000.

The minister, furthermore, admitted that the acquisition process has proven to be a challenge as landowners often query the compensation quantum offered.

“I am aware that some Batswana have been on the waiting lists for plot allocation for more than 20 years, especially in some urban areas and this is owing to the huge number of applications received for land within the specified areas and the land delivery process to be followed,” Mzwinila said.

“The land delivery would normally involve consultation with the landowners, acquisition which requires compensation, planning, surveying, servicing where funds permit and the allocation.”

In addition, he said when funds permit, the government continuously acquires land including freehold land to augment both state and tribal land.

Mzwinila said in towns, the Department of Lands can allocate partially serviced land to reduce the long waiting period for plot allocation.

He also stressed that even the allocation of unserviced land requires resources, which include preparation of development plans and undertaking strategic environmental assessments, acquisition of identified land, preparation of detailed layouts and surveying.

He said some elements of the land delivery process require both time and financial resources, which result in long waiting periods for the land allocation.

“The process starts with the land authority consulting the community on the growth area of their settlement, village and town. Once the area is confirmed, the authority then consults individual land rights holders on the intention to acquire the land. The assessment is then done resulting in computation of the compensation amount,” he said.

He pointed out that de-bushing of roads and provision of water through standpipes per plot cost P5,000, gravelling of access roads and water reticulation per plot cost P15,000, full servicing reticulation of water, sewage, power and telecommunication lines, and provision of tarmac roads per plot is P150,000.

Editor's Comment
A step in the right direction

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