!Naruseb supports subletting of farmsBy: LUQMAN CLOETE at HOACHANAS
LANDS and Resettlement Minister Alpheus !Naruseb has expressed opposition to the blanket refusal of subletting on Government resettlement farms.
He said one should look at subletting from the perspective of empowering resettled farmers to graduate to commercial farming, and allow it within the confines of farming units’ grazing capacity.
“The Land Reform Advisory Commission should look at the dynamics of the situation some resettlement farmers find themselves in instead of just putting unnecessary blanket restrictions on subletting,” !Naruseb said.
Warning that his statement on the subletting issue should not be misinterpreted, !Naruseb said that no subletting is allowed on resettlement farming units without prior consent from the Land Reform Advisory Commission.
Currently subletting is possible, but it requires the minister’s permission on recommendation from the Land Reform Advisory Commission with valid reasoning such as old age, sickness or a need to leave the country for a short period.
The prohibition of subletting means that no animal of any kind is allowed to graze on the property without the consent of the minister as the lessor, if such an animal does not belong to the lessee.
!Naruseb made the remarks at a meeting he convened with the Kai-//Khaun community at Hoachanas on Friday to inform the community that farm Klein Swartmodder will be added to the tribe’s communal land.
Inspections of resettlement farms carried out by the Ministry of Lands and Resettlement late last year found that about 83 of the beneficiaries are subletting all or part of their farming units to other people.
At Friday’s meeting, some community members, backed by Hardap governor Katrina Hanse-Himarwa, called for a review on the selection criteria for resettlement beneficiaries.
The complainants charged that the selection criteria are indirectly discriminatory as points are allocated to applicants applying for resettlement on the basis of gender, age and qualification.
!Naruseb advised the complainants to forward their recommendations to the Land Reform Advisory Commission.