The New Land Question

The aim of this process is to activate the university as a platform to re-examine ‘the land question’ in Namibia, define the contemporary nature of the situation, and identify emerging questions from a contemporary, multi-disciplinary, and projective point of view. The process is geared to contribute to a ‘Land governance conference’ scheduled in April 2019, in partnership with the Department of Land and Property Sciences (DLPS), the Network of Excellence in Land Governance (NELGA) Southern Africa Node, and student organisations at NUST.

The full individual submissions to the 1991 Land Conference have been uploaded to the NUST Library 'Digital Namibia Archive' here.
Thanks to Renate Morgenstern from NUST Libraries, the National Archives of Namibia, and Werner Hillbrecht for having made this possible.

You can read the project's Concept Note, here. To participate, you can write to the programme committee here.

Session 1: 'Land, liberation and compromise' (see documentation here)

Session 2: 'The urban land question' (see documentation here)

Session 3: 'Civil society perspectives on urban land' (see documentation here)

Session 4: 'The ancestral land question' (see documentation here)




This page is also created to provide some of the key documents that are relevant in the context of the the New Land Question. These documents are organised in the following categories (some links redirect to a different website):


National policies and documents

1991 National Land Conference 'Consensus document' and conference programme (download)

1991 National Land Conference book of proceedings, compiled by NEPRU (see MLR website here)

1991 'Land in Namibia: rhetoric, reform or revolution?' commentary by Susan Brown on the 1991 Land Conference (see here)

1994 Report of the People's Land Conference held under the auspices of the Working Committee on Land Reform in Mariental (download)

1997 Regional planning development policy (download)

1998 National Land Policy (download)

2015 Namibia country report for Habitat 3 (download)

2018 State of the Nation Address (download)

2018 Office of the Prime Minister, press release on the Second Land Conference process (download)

n.d. "Is there an absolute right to private ownership of commercial land in Namibia?" by G. Narib, Legal Assistance Centre (see document here)

Reports of the regional consultations for the Second National Land Conference available now online at the Ministry of Land Reform's website (see here)

President Geingob "Message for the 2019 New Year" (see here)


International documents

UN International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning (download)

UN-Habitat 'Handling land, innovative tools for land governance and secure land' (download)

UN How to develop a pro-poor land policy (download)

World Bank 'Agricultural Land Redistribution: towards greater consensus' (download)


Africa and Southern Africa-wide documents

AU Framework and guidelines on land policy in Africa (download)

AU/AfDB/UNECA Land Policy in Africa: A Framework to Strengthen Land Rights, Enhance Productivity and Secure Livelihoods (download)

AU/AfDB/UNECA Land Policy in Africa: Southern Africa Regional Assessment (download)

IIED Land Tenure and Administration in Africa: Lessons of Experience and Emerging Issues (download)


Special documents

Toward a National Urbanization Strategy for Namibia. Issue analysis and key recommendations (download)

Reports from South Africa's High Level Panel on the Assessment of Key Legislation and the Acceleration of Fundamental Change, particularly those on 'Land reform, restitution, redistribution and security of tenure' (see all reports here)

NANGOF-Civil Society Organizations Working Group on Land Reform. Proposed recommendations to the 2nd National Land Conference for consideration at the Thematic Working Group Discussions. October 2018 (download)


Academic documents - Namibia

'25 years of land reform' by W. Werner (download)

'The land delivery process in Namibia' by GIZ (download)

'An enquiry into land markets in Namibia's communal areas' by J. Mendelsohn and R. Nghitevelekwa (download)


Academic documents - International

1999 "The Evolution of the World Bank's and Policy Principles, Experience, and Future Challenges" by Deininger and Binswanger (download)

2003 "Policy Discourses on Women’s Land Rights in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Implications of the Re-turn to the Customary" by Whitehead and Tsikata (download)


South Africa's land reform documents

Land audit (see here)

Key questions on 'nationalisation without compensation', by Prof R. Hall (see article here)

'Poor South Africans are ready for real land reform, but who will benefit?' by Boa Monjane (see article here)

National Upgrading Support Programme, extensive database for informal settlement upgrading support (see here).

PLAAS Course on 'the land question' at the Nelson Mandela Foundation

- History of land dispossession and negotiations in political transition (see video here)

- Land redistribution (see video here)

- Land restitution (see video here)

- Post settlement support and agrarian reform (see video here)

- Communal areas and traditional authorities (see video here)

- Farm dwellers and labour tenants (see video here)

- Urban Land Reform (see video here)

- The ‘property clause’ in the Constitution (see video here)

 Ntsebeza, L. & Hall, R. 2007. The Land question in South Africa: the challenge of transformation and redistribution. (Download here)

South Africa Cities Network 'Urban land dialogue series' documentation (see website here)


Zimbabwe documents

2018 'Locating the position of peasants under the "new dispensation": a focus on land tenure issues' SMAIAS Policy Brief 3 by Freedom Mazwi, Newman Tekwa, Walter Chambati and George T. Mudimu (see policy brief here)



For a full catalogue of legislation, the Legal Assistance Centre holds a database of all relevant acts; they have an index on 'land and housing' that can be downloaded here. For more information on geographical data and socio-spatial research, refer to the Environmental Informal Service website here.


If you have a suggestion on publicly-available documents that you would be worth circulating for the purpose of these discussions, please contact


The documents contained in this website are publicly-available. However, if you have a claim to any of these documents, please contact us. Please bear in mind that these documents are only for academic use.