- Namibia’s president Hage Geingob has pledged to introduce sweeping land reforms which would include changing the country’s constitution to allow for expropriation
- Geingob said Namibia faced many of the same challenges as South Africa when it came to land ownership and inequality
- The Namibian government wants to transfer 43% of agricultural land to black farmers by 2020
Namibia’s president Hage Geingob has pledged that his administration will introduce sweeping land reforms which will include changing the country’s constitution to allow for land expropriation. Geingob made the announcement at the National Land Conference in Windhoek.
Geingob pointed out that Namibia faces many of the same challenges as South Africa does when it comes to land ownership and equality. Geingob said the current policy of willing buyer willing seller was not working.
To this end, Geingob wants to amend the Namibian constitution to allow for just compensation as opposed to the current law which requires fair compensation. Geingob said another stumbling block was foreign land ownership with a particular focus on eliminating absentee ownership which led to land being unused.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the Namibian government wants to transfer 43% of all viable agricultural land in the country to black farmers by 2020. Since gaining independence in 1990 the country has managed to transfer 27% of land to black or previously disadvantaged farmers.
Timeslive.co.za reported that Geingob said land reform and the reduction of inequality it would bring about would ultimately be a long-term investment in peace and prosperity in Namibia.
Namibia is a former German colony which was ruled by South Africa from the end of the First World War to 1990. As in South Africa, this led to serious and lasting economic inequality and black people being disposed of their traditional land.
Moneyweb.co.za reported that Namibian society remains one of the most unequal in the world. Only 6% of the population is white but this small percentage has a virtual monopoly on all industries in the country.
eNCA.com reported that Geingob said this was one of the major reasons why land expropriation should be carefully considered. He added that the process should not be rushed and needed to remain peaceful.
The National Land Conference has been criticised by various sectors of Namibian society for being nothing more than a rubber stamp to Geingob’s land agenda and said the outcome of the conference was already set in stone.
Various opposition political parties, civil society groups and even traditional leaders have snubbed the event and refused to take part in the discussions being held.
Traditional leaders attending the event have urged the government to resettle the original people of Namibia on land which belonged to their ancestors.
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