Juffa questions Minister on SABLs

60 percent of SABLs are before the Courts, making it difficult for the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning to terminate them immediately as per Prime Minister Peter O’Neill’s directive.

Lands Minister Justin Tkatchenko revealed this when responding to Northern Governor Gary Juffa yesterday.

Following the inquiry into SABLs and recommendations to cancel them, Juffa asked what the Lands Minister’s Plans were to cancel them.

“Will the fraud investigators that you have engaged to investigate crimes within that department be also able to extend those services to cover the SABL and the massive crime perpetrated by the corrupt public servants and the illegal logging pirates that have operated in that department?” Juffa asked.

“Will the department stop the ongoing trespassing of illegal logging activities in the 5.2 million hectares of people’s land that is still taking place?”

Minister for Lands and Physical Planning, Justin Tkatchenko, in response said 30 percent of all SABLs have been cancelled.

“60 percent are still in court, we have major issues between landowners and the developers that have taken the matters to court which is difficult for us to actually terminate and cancel those SABLs immediately,” he said.

“We are waiting for those cases to conclude so that we allow benefit for the landowners. There are some SABLs that are working well in partnerships with the landowners,” the minister added.

He gave an undertaking to have a report done up by the end of year.

(Northern Governor Gary Juffa filepic)

Sally Pokiton