17. February 2015

Govt buys more farms

THE government has bought 40 farms measuring 210 987 hectares valued at N$257 million during the 2014/2015 financial year.
“I am glad to note that in this respect we have exceeded the set target of 200 000 hectares,” lands and resettlement minister Alpheus !Naruseb said in his annual staff address in Windhoek last week while revealing the figures. During this period, according to !Naruseb, 90 families were resettled, with the majority comprising beneficiaries from the youth sector.

!Naruseb further revealed that his ministry has developed expropriation criteria aimed at complementing the willing buyer, willing seller method. “The criteria were shared with and endorsed by the National Land Reform Forum,” he added, saying that there is a need to mobilise and seek sectoral and inter-ministerial support to respond to the basic needs of farmers after they had been resettled. The ministry therefore needs to develop a comprehensive approach to systematically address post-settlement issues.

!Naruseb stressed that government will continue to charge a land tax and that law-abiding citizens will respect the spirit in which this tax is implemented, adding that his ministry has noted with concern that some lawyers and accountants are assisting farmers in circumventing the tax laws. (The Namibian, Windhoek)

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