Nuances of Compulsory Land Acquisition and Compensation in Botswana

The Case of the Pitsane-Tlhareseleele Road Project

  • Nametso Lekgori Department of Real Estate, BA ISAGO University, Botswana.
  • Partson Paradza Department of Real Estate, BA ISAGO University, Botswana.
  • Innocent Chirisa Department of Rural and Urban Planning, University of Zimbabwe.
Keywords: Compulsory Land Acquisition, Expropriation Policy, Compensation Adequacy, Customary Land, Botswana

Abstract

For years compensation has been awarded for compulsory land acquisition in Botswana and land acquisition for infrastructure projects is typically accompanied by dissatisfaction by displaced families. This is particularly the case on communal/customary land where affected parties tend to have an unclear understanding of the legal procedures that govern and inform acquisition and compensation. Often these issues of dissatisfaction relate to the misinterpretation of the legal frameworks. However, limited research has been conducted to examine the perceptions of the displaced persons and the expropriating authority as to the adequacy of the compensation payment. Therefore, it is necessary to understand how they are interpreted by each party to identify how they can be improved to better align with both parties. This paper seeks to examine the views of both the affected persons (occupying customary land) as well as the expropriating authorities (expropriating the land) in a bid to inform policy and practice, and to contribute to existing debates on compensation for expropriation. A case of the Pitsane-Tlhareseleele road project where portions of land were expropriated from customary land holders was used. Data were collected through key informant interviews and document analysis. The results of this study revealed differences between the perceptions of affected people and those of the expropriating authority. Government officials believed that the compensation offered was satisfactory, as everything was prepared in keeping with the provisions of the law. However, the affected persons were of the view that the compensation they received was not satisfactory, even though the compensation was paid in accordance with the existing statutory framework. The study concluded that this difference in perception emanates from the use of different yardsticks to measure adequacy. These differences in perception could be minimised if the existing statutes are amended to make it mandatory for the affected people to be actively involved in the property valuation process.

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Author Biography

Partson Paradza, Department of Real Estate, BA ISAGO University, Botswana.

Partson Paradza is an upcoming academic who is currently working as a lecturer in the Real Estate Department at BA ISAGO University in Botswana. He is a PhD student working on a thesis on property valuation and compensation in Zimbabwe. Also he is a member of the African Real Estate Socity and an APC candidate of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. I did a BSc Honours in Rural and Urban Planning at the University of Zimbabwe in 2010, a Masters in Real Estate at the University of Pretoria in 2016, a Certificate in Vocational Education and Training at BA ISAGO University in 2018 and a Certificate in Explore Geographic Information Systems at the University of South Africa in 2019.

Published
2020-05-19
How to Cite
Lekgori, N., Paradza, P., & Chirisa, I. (2020). Nuances of Compulsory Land Acquisition and Compensation in Botswana: The Case of the Pitsane-Tlhareseleele Road Project. Journal of African Real Estate Research, 5(1), 1-15. https://doi.org/10.15641/jarer.v5i1.811
Section
Research Articles