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Committee has conducted study

The Southern District inter ministerial committee (DIMTC) has conducted a feasibility study for the possible demarcation of Wildlife Management Area (WMA) S02 to mixed use farms as per a presidential directive on the utilisation of WMA’s.

Responding to a question in Parliament from Jwaneng/Mabutsane legislator, Mr Shaw Ntlhaile, Assistant Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Mr Itumeleng Moipisi said the directive stated that “where there are livestock boreholes, cattle ranches should be zoned and the rest of the area should be game farms.”

Mr Moipisi said the feasibility study and draft ranch layout had been presented to various structures as per the guidelines of the fencing component of the national policy on agriculture development.

The ministry, he said, had prepared a cabinet memo to request variation of the presidential directive such as that the number of game ranches in the areas where there were no boreholes be reduced and the number for livestock ranches including small stock be increased.

He said various community leaders for all 11 communities of Mabutsane, Khakhea, Morwamosu,Kokong Khonkhwa, keng, Kanaku, Mahotshwane, Itholoke and Sekoma were consulted by Ngwaketse Land Board together with DIMTC.

He said generally the district leadership and their communities acknowledged and appreciated the consultations, however, with some reservations and concerns.

Mr Moipisi mentioned that some of the concerns raised were that the ranches, if demarcated and advertised, would not benefit local communities and small time farmers in the area. Some members of the community were of the view that the piece of land be left as communal grazing land while some proposed that the 45 ranches reserved for commercial farming should be allocated as community ranches, and that the 15 that were designated as community ranches should be allocated as livestock ranches.

The communities also requested that community ranches be closer to the settlements to decrease travelling distances and other costs should the ranches be allocated to the communities.

However, the assistant minister explained that the communities were informed that equity and inclusion of local communities in sustainable utilisation of the land in question was government priority in line with Vision 2036 of “prosperity for all” the NDP and sustainable development goals, including food, security and economic diversification.

Communities, he said, were assured that due processes, regulations and guidelines would be followed to ensure equity.

In addition, he highlighted that the number of proposed ranches was 93, cattle ranches were 45, community ranches 15, game ranches 10 and 23 small agricultural holdings.

He noted that communities were further encouraged to form syndicates or trusts to benefit more as groups.

“The communities will not only benefit through community ranches, but will also be at liberty to apply for the other ranches that will be advertised,” said Mr Moipisi.

Parliament also heard that 15 community ranges had been proposed in the draft layout to reduce grazing pressure for all affected communities as well as for other deserving members of society.

Mr Moipisi, however, stated that there had not been any environmental impact assessment done in S02 as yet, but that going forward and as part of implementation, he added that his ministry was currently engaging the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism on how best to approach and carry out a strategic environmental assessment (SEA).

Mr Moipisi said the board of trustees of Mekgatshi Conservation Trust had not been consulted yet. He, however, said 11 villages were consulted through kgotla meetings in 2012 and after the feasibility study.

Mr Ntlhaile had asked the assistant minister to update Parliament on the ongoing exercise to subdivide Wildlife Management Area S02 into commercial cattle ranges and game farms. ENDS

Source : BOPA

Author : BOPA

Location : GABORONE

Event : Parliament

Date : Apr 14 Sun,2019

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