The National, Tuesday 09th April, 2013
THE concepts of Special Agriculture Business Leases (SABL) and incorporated land groups (ILGs) are unreliable and should not be used for land reforms, an advocate said.
Director for Communal Land Development Dr Onne Rageau urged the National Land Development Programme and the government to instead engage customary law in land reforms.
He said the incorporated land group concept was confusing and a major impediment to customary land development.
“We must realise from the SABL experience that due to the long-term lease agreement of 99 years, customary landowners die,” he said.
“The title remains with the developer and the land ownership title is lost. This ultimately deprives the landowners their land resource development benefits.
“The SABL has failed terribly and working the land reforms based on the SABL investigation report which is pending is not a better option.
“In fact the NLDP option of creating ILGs for landowners will only benefit a selected group and not everybody as the government would like to.
“Every one of us is a landowner. We have land and it is our birthright.
“The customary law is there and it should be used to create better options for land reform to benefit the people today and in the future.”
Rageau said the people and investors or developers should be involved closely in the land reform deals based on the customary law where there was a win-win benefit for both parties.
“Once the partnership agreement between the landowners and developers are established, the government interests to open up customary land for development are achieved,” he said.