Govt rejected 259 farms in 2012

Namibian Sun By ELVIS MURARANGANDA 11 September 2013

WINDHOEK ELVIS MURARANGANDA

The Ministry of Lands received 321 farm offers last year but bought only 12 of them, contrary to claims by national leaders that farm owners are not willing to sell land.
The 12 farms, acquired through the land reform project, measured close to 59 000 hectares and cost the State N$71 million; while a further 15 farms measuring 52 000 hectares were exempted in favour of Affirmative Action Loan Scheme candidates.
Close to 178 farm offers were assessed, while 19 farms (84 000 hectares) were withdrawn between January and December last year.
By March last year, purchases of eight farms measuring a total of 50 000 hectares were still pending.
The minister of lands and resettlement, Alpheus !Naruseb, granted permission to two foreign nationals to buy two farms measuring 19 000 hectares, while two farm purchases by other foreign nationals are still pending.
This was revealed in the ministry's annual report for 2011/2012 tabled in parliament by!Naruseb this week.
According to the report, the ministry last year resettled 105 families and six farms were transferred to other ministries.
The ministry signed lease agreements with 19 resettlement farmers, while 28 other lease agreements were still pending by the end of the year.
In its efforts to ensure that beneficiaries are not left stranded and unable to farm after receiving their units, the ministry rehabilitated 14 farms in the Omaheke, //Karas and Khomas regions at a cost of N$21 million.
“The ministry has prioritised the rehabilitation of water supply infrastructure. Three boreholes were also installed at Bravo and Western Caprivi Projects at a tune of N$900 000,” the report reads.
During the period under review, 170 leasehold rights in communal areas were registered by the ministry.
“As part of ensuring security of tenure, 21 044 customary land rights have been registered. Four farms are currently under development and 68% of the work toward developing model farms has been completed.”
The ministry collected N$37 million in land tax during the financial year

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By Gerrit Vermeulen