New plot allocation target in offing

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New plot allocation target in offing
New plot allocation target in offing

Africa-Press – Botswana. President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi says he will announce yet another plot allocation target following the successful allocation of 100 000 residential plots over the past two years.

He disclosed this at an event held in Losanyana, Kanye yesterday to celebrate the allocation of the 100 000th plot, an activity which marked the conclusion of the two-year assignment that he tasked the Ministry of Lands and Water Affairs with back in 2022.

Dr Masisi said as the country inched towards the attainment of the ideals espoused in Vision 2036, it would retain access to land as one vehicle that Batswana could ride on towards wealth generation.

He said possession of land opened up opportunities which, if explored and exploited, could set title holders on course to generate wealth for themselves and the country.

Acknowledging opening up land accessibility as the first step towards turning around the plight of the citizen as it set them up for successful wealth generation, Dr Masisi said it was disappointing however that some Batswana continued to sell off their land to foreign nationals, risking raising a generation of landless citizens.

“Should we maintain the rate at which we dispose off our land, especially through selling it to non-citizens, we will have very unpleasant consequences to contend with in future. The repercussions of our actions will be heart-wrenching and the most painful of them would be landlessness,” he said.

Turning to land boards, Dr Masisi hailed them for successfully delivering on their assignment, saying it was no small feat to attain the targeted number of allocations without an increase of any kind in terms of resources.

Challenging other ministries and government agencies to emulate them, he said the tenacity with which they had faced and executed the task at hand symbolised what the Mindset Change campaign called for.

If adopted by all, he said the stance to achieve more with less would drive Botswana’s transformation on many fronts and make Batswana a shining example of inventiveness.

Minister of Lands and Water Affairs, Dr Kefentse Mzwinila said Batswana’s pressing need for land, as evidenced by the ballooning waiting lists was motivation enough for the ministry to push towards achieving the 100 000 plots target even in the face of several challenges among them shortage of land and a rising number of plot transfers.

Regarding the latter, Dr Mzwinila said they realised during the course of the allocations that some people sold their plots soon after allocation, a sad development through which Batswana not only disenfranchised themselves but also delayed the allocation process itself as land board officials became even more overstretched as they had to allocate plots while simultaneously dealing with land transfers.

“As the number of allocations increased, so did the number of transfers. This showed us that some of the plots we allocated got immediately sold, and the mass transfers further exacerbated shortage of personnel for us as it is the same officers who allocate plots who also handle transfers,” he said.

Regarding some of the positives from the exercise, the minister said it was worth noting that the 100 000 plots allocated would address the immediate land access needs of around 280 000 people as the last national population and housing census had shown that a single plot housed an average of two to three individuals.

Yet another plus he said, was that with the value of plots in Tribal Land now similar to that of land parcels within Freehold and State Land, each of the plots allocated was worth around P102 000, taking the total value of the 100 000 plots to over P10 billion.

Kanye South Member of Parliament, Dr Lemogang Kwape thanked government for the determination to improve the lives of Batswana through sound development pathways.

With focus on Kanye, he said several development projects were either underway or would be implemented in the near future, stating that these were all meant to improve the lives of residents by giving them improved access to different important services.

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