Land Reform Act of 2014

PUBLISHED 5 SEP 2015   

The ammended land reform act was published in the
Goverment Gazette of 17 March 2014.

This act made ammendents to the farming land acquisition
process as well as the waiver system. 

 

 

GOVERNMENT GAZETTE

 

OF THE

REPUBLIC OF NAMIBIA

 

N$4.00                             WINDHOEK - 17 March 2014                          No. 5428

 


CONTENTS


 

Page


 

GOVERNMENT NOTICE

 

No. 33

Promulgation of Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Amendment Act, 2014 (Act

 

 

No. 1 of 2014), of the Parliament .....................................................................................

1

 

 

Government Notice

 

 

OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

 

No. 33                                                                                                                        2014

 

PROMULGATION OF ACT OF PARLIAMENT

 

The following Act which has been passed by the Parliament and signed by the President in terms of the Namibian Constitution is hereby published in terms of Article 56 of that Constitution.

 

No. 1 of 2014:       Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Amendment Act, 2014.


 

Act No. 1,  2014             AGRICULTURAL (COMMERCIAL) LANd REFORM AMENdMENT ACT, 2014

 

EXPLANATORY NOTE:

 

                                  Words underlined with a solid line indicate insertions in

existing provisions.

 

             [                   ]              Words in bold type in square brackets indicate omissions

from existing provisions.

 

 

 

ACT

 

To        amend the Agricultural (Commercial) Land Reform Act, 1995, so as to insert a certain definition; to provide for further situations where the State has the right of preference to purchase land; to provide for a negotiating committee on purchase prices; and to provide for incidental matters.

 

(Signed by the President on 12 March 2014)

 

BE IT ENACTEd as passed by the Parliament, and assented to by the President

of the Republic of Namibia, as follows:

 

Amendment of section 1 of Act No. 6 of 1995, as amended by section 1 of Act No. 16 of 2000, section 1 of Act No. 2 of 2001, section 1 of Act No. 13 of 2002 and section

1 of Act No. 14 of 2003

 

1.          Section  1  of  the  Agricultural  (Commercial)  Land  Reform Act, 1995 (in this Act referred to as “the principal Act”) is amended by the substitution for the definition of “alienate” of the following definition:

 

“alienate, in relation to agricultural land, means sell, exchange, donate or otherwise dispose of, whether for any valuable consideration or otherwise, and includes, in the case where such land is registered in the name of -

 

(a)         a  company,  the  sale  or  transfer  of  shares  of  the  company  to  another

person; or

 

(b)        a close corporation, the sale or transfer of any members interest in the

close corporation or any portion of such interest to another person.

 

Substitution of section 9 of Act No. 6 of 1995, as amended by sec 6 of Act 13 of 2002 and section 1 of Act No. 8 of 2013

 

2.          The  following  section  is  substituted  for  section  9  of  the

principal Act:

 

“Committees

 

9.          (1)        There  is  established  for  every  region  a  regional resettlement committee to assist the Commission in the exercise of such of its powers or the performance of such of its duties or functions under this Act as the Commission may delegate or assign to the committee.


 

Act No. 1,  2014             AGRICULTURAL (COMMERCIAL) LANd REFORM AMENdMENT ACT, 2014

 

(2)        A regional resettlement committee established under subsection (1) consists of not less than 11 and not more than 19 members -

 

(a)         the regional governor appointed in terms of the Special Advisors

and Regional Governors Appointment Act, 1990 (Act No. 6 of

1990)  for  the  respective  region  who  is  the  chairperson  of  the

committee;

 

(b)       one or more members of the Commission, designated by the Commission for that purpose, and, if the Commission considers it necessary, one or more other suitable persons who are not members of the Commission appointed by the Commission.

 

(3)        The Commission may -

 

(a)        establish one or more committees to assist the Commission in the exercise of such of its powers or the performance of such of its duties or functions under this Act as the Commission may delegate or assign to it;

 

(b)        at any time dissolve or reconstitute a committee contemplated

in paragraph (a).

 

(4)        If so authorised by the Commission, a committee may invite any person, whose presence is in its opinion desirable, to attend and to participate in the deliberations of a meeting of the committee, but such person has no vote.

 

(5)        A delegation or assignment under this section may be made subject to such conditions and restrictions as the Commission may determine and may, at any time, be varied or withdrawn by it.

 

(6)        The Commission is not divested or relieved of any power or function delegated or assigned by it under this section, and may, without prejudice of a right, vary or set aside any decision taken in the exercise of the power so delegated.”.

 

Amendment of section 17 of Act No. 6 of 1995, as amended by section 9 of Act No.

13 of 2002

 

3.          Section 17 of the principal Act is amended -.

 

(a)         by  the  substitution  for  subsections  (1A),  (2)  and  (3)  of  the  following

subsections:

 

“(1A)   Whenever one or more members of a company or close corporation which is the owner of agricultural land intends to sell or transfer -

 

(a)        in the case of a company, any shares of the company [which would have the effect of passing the controlling interest in the company] to another person; or


 

Act No. 1,  2014             AGRICULTURAL (COMMERCIAL) LANd REFORM AMENdMENT ACT, 2014

 

(b)        in  the  case  of  a  close  corporation,  any  interest  or interests in the close corporation, or any portion of such interest, [which would have the effect of passing the controlling interest in the close corporation] to another person,

 

it  shall,  for  the  purposes  of  subsection  (1)  of  this  section  and  section

17A(3), be deemed that the company or close corporation in its capacity as owner of the agricultural land held by it, intends to alienate such land.”;

 

(b)        by the insertion after subsection (1A) of the following subsection:

 

“(1B)   An owner of agricultural land who intends to have a usufruct registered over the whole or part of such land in favour of a person, other than a relative of the owner, it is, for the purposes of subsection (1) and section 17B(3), deemed that the owner intends to alienate such land, and for the purpose of this subsection “relative” means spouse, child, parent or sibling of the owner.”;

 

(c)         by  the  substitution  for  subsections  (2)  and  (3)  of  the  following

subsections:

 

(2)        Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any law contained but subject to subsection (3), no agreement of alienation of agricultural land entered into by the owner of such land, or, in the case where such land is alienated by a company or close corporation in the circumstances contemplated in paragraphs (a) and (b), respectively, of the definition of “alienate”, no agreement of sale or instrument of transfer or transfer otherwise of any shares of the company or of any member’s interest in the close corporation or of any portion of such interest [which, but for this subsection, would have passed the controlling interest in the company or close corporation] to another person, shall be of any force and effect until the owner of such land -

 

(a)        has first offered such land for sale to the State; and

 

(b)        has  been  furnished  with  a  certificate of  waiver  in respect of such land and in respect of a specific buyer who in most cases must be a previously disadvantaged person contemplated in Article 23(2) of the Namibian Constitution.

 

(3)        Subsections   (1)   and   (2)   shall   not   apply   where

agricultural land is alienated -

 

(a)        by or to a regional council or a local authority council or a body corporate as defined in section 1, but only to the extent that such land is alienated otherwise than being sold in the open market;

 

(b)        [in the administration of a deceased estate or] in accordance with a redistribution of assets in [such an] a deceased estate between heirs and legatees;


 

Act No. 1,  2014             AGRICULTURAL (COMMERCIAL) LANd REFORM AMENdMENT ACT, 2014

 

[(c)       by the trustee of an insolvent estate or the liquidator of a company, close corporation or co-operative society in the liquidation of such estate or the winding-up of such company, close corporation or co-operative society;

 

(d)       by a deputy-sheriff or messenger of the court in the execution of a judgment or an order of a competent court;]

 

(e)         by  a  co-owner  of  such  land  to  another  co-owner

thereof, except where -

 

(i)         the other co-owner is a foreign national; or

 

(ii)        such  land  is  owned  by  a  company  or  close

corporation; or

 

(f)         in  such  other  circumstances  as  the  Minister  may

prescribe.”;

 

(d)        by the substitution for subsection (6) of the following subsection:

 

“(6)      Within 14 days after the receipt of the recommendations of the Commission, the Minister shall by notice in writing to the owner concerned, either -

 

(a)         decline the offer and issue to the owner a certificate

of waiver; or

 

(b)        if the Minister decides to acquire the land in question

for the purposes contemplated in section 14(1) - (i)         accept the offer; or

(ii)       if the Minister, acting on the recommendation of  the Commission,  considers  the  purchase price specified in the offer to be excessive -

 

(aa)      make a counter offer to such owner, specifying  the  price  which  the Minister is prepared to pay for the land;

 

(bb)     inform the owner that if such counter offer is not accepted by the owner, the  owner  [may  not  later  than  a date specified by the Minister in the notice, which shall not be sooner than 90 days from the date of notice, make an application to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of the purchase price] must inform the


 

Act No. 1,  2014             AGRICULTURAL (COMMERCIAL) LANd REFORM AMENdMENT ACT, 2014

 

Minister in writing within 14  days  of

receipt of the counter offer; and

 

[(cc)     advise the owner of the provisions of subsection (7)].

 

(iii)       after  receipt  of  the  letter  referred  to  in paragraph (ii)(bb), the Minister must convene a negotiating committee to negotiate the purchase price with the owner, and advise the Minister.

 

(iv)       if the negotiating committee and the owner fail

to reach an agreement on the purchase price -

 

(aa)      the owner, not later than 60 days after the  failure  to  reach  the  agreement, may make an application to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of the purchase price; and

 

(bb)      the committee must forthwith advise the owner of the provisions of subsection (7).”; and

 

(e)        by the substitution for subsection (7) of the following subsection: “(7)         Unless -

(a)         the  Minister  has  issued  to  the  owner  a  certificate  of

waiver;

 

(b)        the  Minister,  acting  on  a  recommendation  of  the Commission, and the owner have agreed on the purchase price for the land in question; or

 

(c)        the Minister, acting on the advice of the negotiating committee, and the owner have agreed on the purchase price,

 

it shall be deemed that the owner has accepted a counter offer made by the Minister in terms of subsection (6)(b)(ii) if, upon expiry of the [date determined and specified by the Minister in terms] period specified in subparagraph (iv) of that subsection, the owner has not made application to the Lands Tribunal for the determination of the purchase price.”.

 

Amendment of section 20 of Act No. 6 of 1995, as amended by section 11 of Act No.

13 of 2002 and section 4 of Act No. 14 of 2003

 

4.          The following subsections are substituted for subsection (1) of

section 20 of the principal Act.


 

Act No. 1,  2014             AGRICULTURAL (COMMERCIAL) LANd REFORM AMENdMENT ACT, 2014

 

“(1)      Subject   to   subsection   (1A),   where   the   Minister,   after consultation with the Commission, decides to acquire any property for the purposes of section 14(1) and -

 

(a)         the  Minister  and  the  owner  of  such  property  are  unable  to

negotiate the sale of such property by mutual agreement; or

 

(b)        the  whereabouts  of  the  owner  of  such  property  cannot  be

ascertained after diligent inquiry,

 

the Minister may, subject to the payment of compensation in accordance with

the provisions of this Act, expropriate such property for such purpose.

 

(1A)    The  Minister  may  prescribe  criteria  to  be  used  for  the

expropriation of agricultural land.”.

 

Amendment of section 62 of Act No. 6 of 1995, as amended by section 25 of Act No.

13 of 2002

 

5.          Section 62 of the principal Act is amended by the deletion of paragraph (a) of subsection (1).

 

Short title

 

6.          This  Act  is  called  the  Agricultural  (Commercial)  Land  Reform Amendment Act, 2014.

 

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