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Land registration is law: !Naruseb

14 March 2012
Namibian
By: Adam Hartman

The registration of not more than 20 hectares of communal land may not be popular, but it is a law, Lands Minister Alpheus !Naruseb said in Swakopmund on Monday during the inauguration of the fourth land boards for the Erongo, Otjozondjupa and Omaheke regions.

!Naruseb said the new land boards should familiarise themselves – and those they serve – with the Communal Land Reform Act of 2002, and “until [the law] is repealed”  people living on communal land will have to register the piece of land.
“It does not have to be 20 hectares; that is only the maximum. But you must register it in order to safeguard you being on that piece of land in terms of the law that is applicable now,” he said.
He said land boards were established to administer land matters in communal areas in  liaison with the traditional authorities.
“There should be no illusion that your office is superior to the traditional authority you will serve. The community of traditional authorities should reign supreme,” he told the new board members.
He referred to President Hifikepunye Pohamba’s pronouncement in November in Ongwediva last year –  that communal land is state land –  and said that some boards misinterpreted these remarks to say that traditional authorities have no standing when it comes to communal land.
He said traditional authorities have constitutional standing according to the Land Reform Act, and have to be treated with respect.
The new land boards will be in office from March 1 this year until February 28 2015.
The Khomas Region is the only region that does not have a land board because there is no communal land, according to Lands and Resettlement Permanent Secretary Lidwina Shapwa.
“Khomas has lost all its communal land to development,” she said.


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