Tawana Land Board Owed Over P36 Million In Lease Arrears

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Tawana Land Board is owed around 36 million pula in lease arrears, board secretary, Dothodzo Tabengwa has revealed.

The board allocates land for business use and tourism concessions through lease contracts and the beneficiaries are expected to pay annual lease rentals. The payments according to Tabengwa differ as per use.

According to him, while those for tourism concessions whose leases last for 15 years are generally doing well with regards to payments, he said the board is however given a headache by businesses and farm owners. 

The board secretary highlighted that an individual farm owner can owe the board about P400 000 adding that they also have a problem with those operating quarry businesses which he said some have arrears that have accumulated to over P500 000.

Tabengwa decried that the failure to pay lease rentals disrupt their service delivery and mandate as the board partly depends on those funds. “Government does not allocate us 100% annual budget, we are given 80% and obliged to augment the other part with collections of those lease rentals,” he noted pleading for the public to honour their lease agreements.

The board said one of the contributing factors to non-payment of lease rentals is due to the fact that some were unaware that they that they are obliged to pay a certain fee for those leases. The board has since called for the sub land boards to sensitize applicants about the agreement especially with regard to payments.

Tabengwa said though the new act allows them to approach the land tribunal to demand payments they have not yet done so hoping that Batswana will honour their agreements. He said at one point the board will however be forced to take that route if the other interventions fails.

He indicated that they continue to engage with those who owe them with an aim to discuss how best they can clear the arrears. “Though it is our wish for them to clear their debts we however normally discuss how best they can pay us without necessarily having to clear the whole amount at once,” explained the board secretary.

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