The perceptions and experiences of land relocation in the Bukalo area

Chatu, Scholastica (2016-03)

Thesis (MPA)--Stellenbosch University, 2016.

Thesis

ENGLISH SUMMARY: The imbalances of Namibia’s landownership which existed before its independence where the minority (whites) owned a larger portion of land as compared to the majority (blacks), was addressed by the new government. As a result, the black population has been given the right to own land. It is however important to note that land redistribution in Namibia had been at a slow pace even after 24 years of independence. Land imbalances caused by political resistance resulted in the forceful power over the landless and dispossessed citizens of Namibia. There was a lack of independent land assessments and a monitoring programme, as well as an absence of baseline data to assess resettlement. After independence, in 1990, the government of Namibia promised to transfer land to the landless and it was made part of The Constitution stating that such land “will never be taken from the landowners without compensation”. National compensation guidelines for communal land were therefore endorsed for the relocation process. The responsibility of land allocation is vested in the traditional authorities of Namibia. The study focuses on the perceptions and experiences of land relocation in the Bukalo area. The study aims at finding out whether the people of Bukalo were satisfied with the compensation received for their properties as they relocated and whether they were satisfied with the relocation process. For the purpose of this study, it was hypothesized that: H1= the majority perceived the government’s compensation on land relocation to be unfair, H2= the majority did not want to move out of the area and H3= the majority did not see the relocation as beneficial. The objectives of the study was to examine the literature on land relocation and to evaluate the perceptions of land relocation by people in the Bukalo area - in other words to reveal how the beneficiaries are adapting to the relocation, to understand the achievements and shortcomings of land relocation in the Bukalo area, to find ways and means to address the anomalies for future relocations elsewhere, and to inform policy formulation with regard to future relocations. A mini survey, questionnaires and interviews were used to gather data. The relocation process at Bukalo has been tangled with challenges, such as lack of information and coordination, which led to the relocates making uninformed decisions that they regretted. Cases gathered through the literature indicated that many land relocations were not successful due to a lack of funds. Bukalo case was not an exception in that there was a lack of funds to compensate the relocates who had to wait for many years before they were relocated. People were also not informed about the compensation prices used and the relocation process, especially the clause that stated that the affected communities had the right to keep two plots from their ancestral land. The relocatees were not involved in the whole process and felt the government chased them from their ancestral land. Government realized the need of developing Bukalo into a town. There was a need therefore to compensate people prior to such developments, since people were set for relocation. The intention was to bring the services closer to the Bukalo people and improve their living conditions. However, it is evident through the findings that the people were not willing to relocate not only in Bukalo but also elsewhere in Namibia due to unfair compensation procedures. Promises made before relocations were never met. A number of recommendations are provided to improve the implementation of the relocation programme and to correct anomalies for future relocations. The recommendations provided could contribute towards resolving policy imbalances with regard to land relocation and compensation in Namibia. It is therefore important to realize that the driving hypothesis of this study was met as it assumed that the “majority perceive the government’s compensation on land relocation to be unfair”.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Die ongelykheid in grondbesit in die land Namibië voor die aanvang van sy onafhanklikheid waar die Blanke minderheid ’n groter deel van die land besit het in vergelyking met die Swart meerderheid, het daartoe gelei dat die regering die leiding geneem het in grondverdeling om die Swart bevolking die reg te gee om grond te kan besit. Dit is nietemin belangrik om aan te dui dat grondherverdeling in Namibië teen ’n slakkepas selfs na 24 jaar van onafhanklikheid geskied. Grondwanbalanse wat deur versetpolitiek veroorsaak is, het daartoe gelei dat die grondloses en onteiende burgers van Namibië hulle onder die magsbeheer van kragtige strukture bevind het. Daar was ’n gebrek aan onafhanklike grondassesserings- en ’n moniteringsprogram, asook ’n databasis om hervestiging te assesseer. Na onafhanklikheid in 1990 het die regering van Namibië belowe om grond oor te dra aan die grondloses wat deel was van die Grondwet en dit het aangedui dat sulke grond nooit van die grondeienaars sonder vergoeding geneem sal word nie. Nasionale vergoedingsriglyne vir gemeenskaplike grond was dus neergelê om gedurende die hervestigingsproses te geld. Die verantwoordelikheid van grondtoekenning berus by die tradisionele owerhede in Namibië. Die studie fokus op die persepsies en ervaringe van grondhervestiging in die Bukalo-gebied. Die studie het ten doel om uit te vind of die mense van Bukalo tevrede is met die vergoeding wat hulle vir hulle eiendomme ontvang het toe hulle hervestig is en of hulle met die hervestigingsproses tevrede is. Vir die doel van hierdie studie is dit gehipotiseer dat: H1 = die meerderheid die regering se vergoeding vir grondhervestiging as onbillik ervaar het, H2 = die meerderheid nie uit die gebied wou trek nie en H3 = die meerderheid nie die hervestiging as bevorderlik gesien het nie. Die doelwitte van die studie is om die literatuur oor grondhervestiging te ondersoek en om die persepsies van grondhervestiging van die mense in die Bukalogebied te evalueer, m.a.w. om te openbaar hoedat die lotgevalle aangepas het by die hervestiging, om die suksesse en tekortkominge van grondhervestiging in die Bukalogebied te verstaan, om maniere uit te vind om die ongerymdhede te korrigeer sodat hervestiging in die toekoms vermy kan word en om die basis vir beleidsformulering m.b.t. toekomstige hervestiging te skep. ’n Mini-opname, vraelyste en onderhoude is gebruik om data te versamel. Die hervestigingsproses by Bukalo is ineengestrengeld met uitdagings, soos die gebrek aan inligting en koördinering wat daartoe gelei het dat die onteiendes oningeligte besluite gemaak het waaroor hulle spyt is. Die literatuur maak melding van gevalle wat vir baie jare gewag het voordat hulle hervestig is. Mense was nie ingelig omtrent die vergoeding en die hervestigingsproses nie, veral die klousule wat aandui dat die geaffekteerde gemeenskappe die reg gehad het om twee erwe van hulle voorouergrond te behou. Die onteiendes was nie betrokke in die proses wat hulle van hulle voorouergrond ontneem het nie en hulle gevolglik laat voel het asof hulle van grond weggejaag is. Die regering het die behoefte identifiseer om die dienste nader aan die Bukalo mense te bring en om hulle lewensomstandighede te verbeter en Bukalo as dorp te ontwikkel. Daar was dus ’n behoefte om mense te vergoed voordat sulke ontwikkelings plaasvind, aangesien mense gereed gemaak was vir hervestiging. Uit diedeur bevindinge is dit duidelik dat die mense nie gewillig was om te hervestig nie, nie net in Bukalo nie, maar ook elders in Namibië, weens die onbillike vergoedingsprosedure. Beloftes wat voor die hervestigings gemaak is, is nooit nagekom nie. ’n Aantal aanbevelings is gemaak om die implementering van die hervestigingsprogram te verbeter en om die onreëlmatighede vir toekomstige hervestigings uit te skakel. Die aanbevelings wat verskaf is, kan bydra tot die oplossing van politieke ongelykhede met betrekking tot grondhervestiging en -vergoeding in Namibië. Dit is dus belangrik om te besef dat die beweegrede agter die hipotese van hierdie studie bereik is, deurdat dit aangetoon is dat die meerderheid mense die regering se vergoeding op grondhervestiging as onbillik beskou het.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/98578
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