Batlokwa scramble for 360 plots

Nicholas Mokwena - BG reporter
Monday, 27 March 2017
Batlokwa scramble for 360 plots

Tlokweng Land Board has started the process of allocating 600 available plots in the area. The process started yesterday (Thursday) and is expected to end on Monday next week. Tlokweng Land Board Principal Public Relations Officer Keothaile Tau confirmed to this publication on Wednesday that the process would be starting. He said allocation would be made to people who were interviewed last year September.

Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Prince Maele has explained that the land board would be scrutinising those who are being allocated the plots. The minister stated that in the allocation of the 600 plots 60 percent (360) would be for Batlokwa while the remaining 40 percent (240) would be for any other person including Batlokwa. He said the 60/40 percent quota was set by cabinet for areas in the periphery of Gaborone.

Maele said there is no how he could change this in respect of Batlokwa who are seriously affected by land shortage. “I know the ratio does not satisfactorily benefit Batlokwa but there is nothing I can do because that is the quota that cabinet has given me”, said Maele when addressing Batlokwa in a Kgotla meeting. He said if it were by him he would avail all the plots to Batlokwa but said his hands are tight, as he has to abide by the Tribal Land Act, which allows any Motswana to apply for any piece of land in their area of interest.

Maele revealed that waiting list for application of land in Tlokweng stands at 464 331. He said the number is even more than the population of Tlokweng. The minister explained that they have discovered that most people in the list are land speculators. Land speculators are those people who after being allocated plots, sell them. He said under the new Land Policy his ministry will ensure that people with one plot are not allowed to sell. Maele expressed concern over people who sell their plots after allocation. He indicated that only in 2016, 387 residential plots were sold, 252 agricultural, five (5) commercial and one (1) industrial plot were sold.

Land allocation in Tlokweng has been marred by controversy as Batlokwa have complained bitterly that they are made to compete for land in the area with other people who can have plots in their area of origin.
Government came up with the quota system after Tlokweng land board squared up with some Batlokwa in court in a 2012 controversial case on plots allocation. Batlokwa challenged the allocation of 285 plots through a raffle. Batlokwa wanted the process to be reversed and Batlokwa be given first priority when the plots are allocated.

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