There are over 620, 000 Batswana waiting to be allocated land across the country with almost 60 percent of the number being the youth.
This was revealed by the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Bonolo Khumotaka when appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on Monday.
“We have a huge waiting list around the country, which is mostly in tribal land in areas adjacent to urban areas,” Khumotaka told PAC chaired by Selebi Phikwe West Member of Parliament (MP) Dithapelo Keorapetse.
Khumotaka said currently the ministry is grappling with a waiting list of about 620,661 applicants with the number excluding duplicated applicants and those who already have plots elsewhere irrespective of how one acquired that land.
“This is what we call ‘clean list’ and in that list, we would like to indicate that, 59 percent are the youth of ages between 18-35 years,” said the Acting PS.
Of those waiting to be allocated land, 30 percent are those between the ages of 35-50 years followed by those above 50 years who account for 11 percent of plot seekers.
In terms of gender, 282 705 are males while 337 967 are females waiting to be allocated land.
The Acting PS also revealed that the longest waiting period they have had in tribal land is 27 years which was in Mogoditshane Sub Land Board while the shortest one is one day under Hukuntsi Sub Land Board.
“This gives us an average waiting period of 13 years under the tribal land,” said Khumotaka, adding that for state land, the longest waiting period they have had is 30 years in Gaborone, while the shortest is four years in Francistown.
She said on average the waiting period for state land is 16 years.
The main challenge, which contributes to the long waiting period and a huge waiting list according to the Acting PS is the cost of servicing land and acquiring land from landowners.
She said on average it costs government P150, 000 to fully service one residential plot and if the government was to service plots for all the 620, 661 on the waiting list, it would require P94 billion, an amount which is almost double the government annual budget.
On the measures the government is undertaking to address the situation, Khumotaka said the ministry is working on a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model to help in servicing land.
“It would require negotiations on how the private sector will benefit from the arrangement,” she said.