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No more land transfers

MINISTER: Mzwinila

Batswana transfer of land to foreigners is dispossession

Government is not going to allow any person to transfer their last residential plot acquired directly from the Land Authority.

Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila revealed this in his response to a question by Member of Parliament for Maun East, Goretetse Kekgonegile.

“The intention was to maintain government’s effort to empower Batswana through access to land for shelter and as a source of production, and to curb citizen dispossession and to discourage speculation,” Mzwinila said.

He stated that a large proportion of the land transfers made over the years have been from Batswana to foreigners, and this has created a situation where citizens are actively involved in dispossessing and disempowering themselves.

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However the minister explained that the Ministry does not require applicants who transfer plots to provide information on the number of households and/or children who reside in that plot.

“It is noted that the alienation of one’s last plot is considered self disempowerment, and the practice is illegal and against citizens constitutional right to transact.”

He said that as a Ministry they had attempted to curtail the behaviour but they were duly stopped by the High Court.

“Since that has not been a solution, the only alternative was to implement other policy pronouncements that have the effect of managing the challenge. “Where government has allocated land at subsidised prices, those who want to alienate their land rights within a period of 15 years will be required to pay the difference between the subsidised price and the full market price at the time of allocation and they will not be eligible for any subsequent allocations,” Mzwinila noted.

He added that land allocated under special dispensation and economic empowerment schemes will not be alienated within a period of 15 years.

Once allocated land in a particular land use category, one may not be eligible for allocation of land in the same category after alienating the plot, the minister said.

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Kekgonegile had asked the Minister if he will consider banning transfer of residential plots, ploughing fields and cattle posts on all who do not have more than one of the mentioned immovable assets.

He also asked for alternatives if banning was not a solution to the challenge.

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