The Namibian Ministry of Land Reform says South African and German citizens form the majority of the 281 foreign nationals who still own large tracts of farmland in violation of a law that prohibits foreign ownership of land.
Ministerial Spokesperson Chrispen Matongela told local media that foreigners own a total of 1.3 million hectares of farmland across the country. Of the 281 farms in question, 34 are believed to be partially owned by Namibians.
“The majority of foreign-owned farms belong to Germans and South Africans. Of these, 247 farms might be exclusively foreign-owned. But remember, in-depth research needs to be done before concluding without doubt that the said farms belong in that category,” he said.
Matongela said before taking corrective action that may include repossession, the government would make a careful determination of the 100% foreign-owned farms, taking into account factors such as the possible acquisition of land ownership rights by commercial acquisition or marriage to locals.
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However, he said the government will not disclose the names and locations of the foreign-owned farms for fear that doing so may trigger farm invasions and precipitate chaos in the agricultural sector.
Most foreign-owned farms in Namibia operate large business enterprises that include hotels and lodges, cattle ranches, irrigation schemes and game ranches. The majority are financed through investment cash or bank loans.
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