WINDHOEK, 15 SEP – No portions of national parks land will be turned into communal land, Minister of Environment and Tourism, Pohamba Shifeta said on Friday.
Speaking at the inauguration of the ministry’s dog unit for wildlife protection and law enforcement at Waterberg in the Otjozondjupa Region, Shifeta said national parks are protected State land and cannot be de-gazetted to become communal land.
Namibia has 20 State run-protected areas covering about 17 per cent of the country’s land surface.
Shifeta said with the second national land conference taking place next month, people are asking that parts of national parks be turned into communal land.
He stressed that the same people who are making the requests are those who already own large tracts of land supposedly acquired through traditional authorities.
“Let those who fenced off huge portions of communal land cut some portions off and make provision for others first before they talk about national parks ,” the minister said.
Shifeta further said individuals who won huge portions of land are implicating traditional authorities as they do not have the power to allocate more than 20 hectares of land per person.
“In some areas you will find that an individual has more than 2 000 hectares, which is illegal as per the Communal Land Reform Act,” he said.