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Ministry transforms land sector

28 May 2023

Ministry of Lands and Water Affairs is in the process of transforming the land sector in order to attain the set target of allocating hundred thousand plots annually.

Buoyed by the successes of water sector transformation in 2018, the ministry will tap from the positive development to reengineer processes amongst other things in order for their customers to experience improved service delivery and customer service.

Speaking in an interview on the sidelines post addressing Botswana Association of Tribal Land Authorities (BATLA) Friday, minister of Lands and Water Affairs, Dr Kefentse Mzwinila said that the land sector transformation should be completed mid-2024.

He said that process was underway for all land sector departments under his ministry to work together seamlessly in an effort to deliver on the secure land title. With the secure land title, tribal land will be equal to state and freehold land in value, the minister said.

“With a complete transformation, a customer should be able to note various positive changes the moment they set foot in our land board premises. Some of these changes would be in realising the raised value of tribal land which will be at par with both state and freehold lands,” Dr Mzwinila said.

Dr Mzwinila said that customers would also note expedited land allocations and eased plot transfers when the whole transformation had been completed.

Part of the transformation is for land boards to tap in the use of technology in their daily operations, a development that Dr Mzwinila noted was embraced highly by the authorities.

Land boards reportedly allocated, for the first time in 20 years, over 59 000 plots from May 2022 to April this year.

Also, the ministry has procured services of private land surveyors to assist the ministry that is facing shortage of surveyors, with maps which will assist in expediting land allocations and issuance of secure land titles, the minister has said.

Dr Mzwinila said that the ministry was in the process of fast-tracking acquisition of all required resources to realisation of secure land titles.

Speaking at BATLA conference, vice chancellor of Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) Professor Otlogetswe Totolo said that the institution was endowed with technological prowess that augured well with the needs of land boards.

Professor Totolo said that the university possessed world-class equipment and expertise to facilitate solutions to technical challenges dogging land boards.

“We are currently pioneering drone technology and believe it is an area we can explore together,” said Professor Totolo adding that the two orgainsations could collaborate on amongst other things aerial photography, mapping and 3D modelling using drones to create accurate maps and 3D models of the land.

Although land authorities (12 land boards and 41 sub land boards) were lauded for a historic allocation of over 57 000 plots in 2022/23 financial year, BATLA president Mr Johane Chenjekwa said that the feat was achieved despite challenges like meager resources among other things.

He said that the challenges were continually raised with ministry leadership to address.

“Two weeks ago, minister signed performance agreements with the land boards chairpersons and I vouched to him and the permanent secretary that my land boards are willing to work provided that they are adequately resourced both in operations and their conditions of service and rewards,” said Mr Chenjekwa. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : Manowe Motsaathebe

Location : Selebi Phikwe

Event : Interview

Date : 28 May 2023