Mzwinila fights land allocation woes for churches

Lands and Water Affairs minister, Kefentse Mzwinila has promised to address land allocation woes facing churches in the country.
Lands and Water Affairs minister, Kefentse Mzwinila has promised to address land allocation woes facing churches in the country.

Lands and Water Affairs minister, Kefentse Mzwinila has promised to address land allocation woes facing churches in the country.

Mzwinila admitted that the current land policy is not favourable to churches, therefore needs to be harmonised to make land accessible to churches.

Speaking during an Eloyi Christian Church Easter conference in Tsetsebjwe, Mzwinila said government is in the process of reviewing some land policies to address land allocation challenges faced by churches. While he pointed out the issue of putting the church land under Civic and Community, he also conceded that the current lease rental fees have become exorbitant and unaffordable for churches. He mentioned that his intention is to revise the fees and make it accommodative for churches.

"The discontentment came after the implementation of the Revised Tribal Land Act Regulations. In 2018, government made a decision to harmonise the Tribal Land with State and freehold lands. Since the value of Tribal Land rose, lease rentals also went up. So we want to revisit the matter and review it especially the issue of lease rental fees for churches and farms. We are a government that cares and listens to people's concerns. We are currently in consultations over reducing the fees and expect the whole process to be completed in the two to three months," Mzwinila said.


Furthermore, he stated that government is also planning to revise the criteria used to allocate civic and community land, which he also mentioned as one of the challenges in land allocation for churches.

"Civic and community also includes government and Non government organisations, which have money, so we want to segment it for differentiation as one of the answers to land allocation challenges for churches," he said.

Additionally, the minister said government has set a 100 000 plot allocation target as part of plans to speed up residential plot allocation across the country.

"Therefore, once this residential plot allocation target is met, we are moving into plot allocation for other uses, including churches. The allocation is currently at 85 000 and I believe by next month, we would be over 100 000," he explained.

Mzwinila also reiterated government's commitment to ensuring that Batswana own land, as one of the important things that give citizens dignity.

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