Government continues to improve the processing of work and residence permits. A project to automate the processing of the work permits has already commenced, which will better ensure the integrity of the documents and enhance processing time as well as data management. This was said by President Ian Khama in his State of the Nation Address on Thursday in Parliament.
He said that his government is duty-bound, to promote the economic interests of our own citizens when it comes to issues of employment. “We, nonetheless, continue to recognise the value of opening our doors to citizens of other countries who add value to the economy and social welfare of the nation as a whole. Illegal migration, however, remains a serious challenge. Over the past year we have had to deport over 36,000 illegal immigrants,” he said.
He said his party-the ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s manifesto recognised that the equitable and efficient distribution of land remains an area of both great opportunity and challenge. To address the shortage of serviced land, government shall continue to undertake land servicing projects to promote economic development, he said. The construction of Palapye Extension 11 land servicing project is expected to yield 3300 plots upon completion. In addition, Khama said his administration will continue with infrastructure design projects for another eight areas around the country.
Government is also implementing additional measures that promote optimal utilisation and better management of “our land resources through physical planning; Land Administration Processes, Capacity Building and Systems (LAPCAS) Project, which has so far resulted in the surveying of 234,525 plots countrywide. A project outcome will be the establishment of a land information centre as a collection of all land data in the country. As of now a total of 890,814 individual land records have been opened and secured, while Deeds Registry has captured 431,667 title deeds. Information collected through this project will benefit individual landholders as well as the country as a whole, since registered land titles can, for example, be used as collateral for loans,” he said.
The President said the Town and Country Planning Act of 2013, which further decentralised physical planning functions to the councils became operational in April 2014, providing for oversight and policy direction on physical planning as well as regional planning functions.
“Efforts are also ongoing to prepare new settlement development plans. To date, a total of 25 such plans, out of a current target of 29, have been prepared. Government is further exploring alternatives to decentralise and decongest development away from Gaborone. We have thus commenced the preparation of three new master plans,” he said.