In a significant development, the government has earmarked a substantial P1.4 billion for acquisition of 45,000 hectares of land in the North West District from the Tati Company.
The Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila, disclosed this to journalists in a presser in Palapye recently where he also outlined a disbursement plan spanning the next two financial years.
He said the decisive step signifies a crucial juncture for Botswana as it reclaims a tract of land from the British-registered Tati Company, which has been a focal point in the struggle between the government’s development objectives and the immediate needs of Batswana for housing, farming and grazing land in the North East District.
Minister Mzwinila noted that after 153 years under colonial rule, the Botswana Government has finally concluded acquisition of the last piece of land owned by the company, demonstrating a strong commitment to addressing the historical complexities associated with colonial land ownership.
Tracing its roots back to 1870 when Cecil Rhodes assumed control of the land, the Tati Company evolved into the largest private landowner in the region, exerting influence over a vast territory with both historical and economic significance.
Valued at over P1.4 billion, this substantial acquisition marks the dismantling of Botswana’s largest private landowner.
As Minister Mzwinila said, the government’s strategic move signals a shift in priorities, emphasising the delicate balance between preserving history and meeting current needs for housing, farming and grazing land.
The return of these 45,000 hectares to Batswana underscores a broader commitment to promoting socio-economic development.
To benefit local communities
Beyond land acquisition, the government envisions responsible resource management to benefit local communities, presenting a unique opportunity for implementing sustainable practices, supporting agriculture, housing development, and community-driven projects.
As Botswana navigates the path between honouring its history and shaping a progressive future, the acquisition of Tati Company’s last remaining land holds profound implications.
Dismantling colonial-era imbalances
It stands as a testament to the government’s dedication to addressing the needs of its people while dismantling remnants of colonial-era imbalances.
The government’s substantial investment in acquiring Tati Company’s land exemplifies a commitment to shaping a future that is not only economically prosperous but also grounded in the principles of equity and historical justice.