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ELEMENTS OF CONTEXT
HISTORY OF CITIES – HERITAGE
“Despite this high rate of urbanization, Botswana did not institute a national urban development strategy up until 1978 and no national housing policy until 1982. The government only provided housing to its employees. The urban poor and the new migrants from the rural areas were left to fend for themselves. The provision of shelter was not considered a top priority by the government then. To make matters worse, there was no attempt before independence in 1966 to prepare either a national, regional or local physical plans; those that existed were usually where the white European settlers lived. Fifteen years later, there was realization that the problem of squatter settlements that were mushrooming in almost all Botswana’s urban centers would require urgent attention. The needs of a rapidly urbanizing economy led government to introduce innovative tenure regimes such as the Certificate of Rights to curb squatter problems and the Fixed Period State Grant for the middle and high income groups.” (1)
RIGHT TO HOUSING
“The Certificate of Rights (COR) is one of the most innovative, simple and workable tenure option introduced by the Government of Botswana to provide security of tenure to low income groups. The tenure was introduced in the early 1970s as part of strategies to deal with problems of informal (squatter) settlements that mushroomed as a result of rapid urbanization in the post independence period as well as provision of secure tenure to site and service schemes for the urban poor. The tenure provides a ‘stop gap’ land tenure option for the developing world in the sense that for countries with limited resources, it can be introduced while ‘avoiding involvement in the complexities and costs of title registration’ (Dickson 1990: 26-30). In addition it can be upgraded over time to full title, a process which is in keeping with the incremental approach in self-help housing. Its introduction has not been without problems.
The land administration capabilities in the various sectors were stretched to the limit. For instance, the municipal authorities responsible for administering the Certificate of Rights were faced with severe capacity constraints. The COR grants also faced the problem of “fronting” and non-payment of service levy as the urban poor transfer their COR plots to rich speculators and developers. Land Boards, especially in peri-urban settlements which administer tenure akin to the Certificate of Rights face an even tougher battle of combating lawlessness as they lack both the technical and administrative capacity to address the peri-urban land problems. Therefore, in considering Botswana’s land tenure and land administrative innovations, these weaknesses would need to be evaluated given the resource implications required when introducing new land tenure regimes and new land administration systems”. (1)
There are three types of land tenure in Botswana (1):
The customary tenure : the mandate is secure land rights are perpetual and hereditary land is allocated free of charge and is not considered a commodity. The chiefs are the custodians of the land. The problem is when these lands are close to urban areas because then they fall into the open market.
The State Land : Land owned by the State are as in rural areas (national parks, …) in urban areas. The granting of such urban land can either be done through the Certificate of Right (COR), or through the state subsidy for a specified period (FPSG).
The freehold land : individuals or organizations hold freehold land. They can give as an inheritance, sell, assign, save.
SOME INTERESTING PRACTICES
Social and economic aspects
QUALITY OF HOUSING
INFORMAL HOUSING / SLUM / HOMELESS
ROLE OF PUBLIC AUTHORITIES
Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic
Bibliography & Sitography
From Certificate of Rights to Long-Terms Leaseholds in Botswana, Boipuso Nkwae and Dixon Dumba, University of Botswana.
MAJOR PROBLEMS BY CIVIL SOCIETY
CLAIMS MAJOR CIVIL SOCIETY
CIVIL SOCIETY ACTORS
SLUM DWELLERS INTERNATIONAL IN BOTSWANA = has managed savings groups in Francistown and Serowe. The Federation is in the process of finalizing an MOU with the Francistown Municipality and hopes this will mark a new era of partnership between slum dwellers and government. Website