After much deliberation on Wednesday, the Senate passed the Land Administration Authority (LAA) Amendment Bill 2016.

The statement of objects and reasons of the LAA Amendment circulated by the authority of the minister of Local government and Chieftainship Affairs and as stated by Deputy Minister Kotiti Liholo is such that the objective of the Bill is to amend the LAA Act 2010.

Mr. Liholo stated that the Act provides for the functions of land administration, land registration and mapping and surveying hence asserted that the Bill seeks to remove the functions of mapping and surveying and substitute them with the functions of administering cadastral surveys and related matters.

He said the Bill also seeks to transfer the Office of the Chief surveyor from the LAA to the Government and to establish the office of the Director of Cadastral Surveys within the LAA.

“The Bill further purports to amend the ACT by reducing the quorum of the LAA Board,” asserted Mr. Liholo, adding that the current position and rationale is that the LAA’s functions are inclusive of mapping and surveying, and that the office of the Chief Surveyor is established within the LAA and that the end result is to the effect that the Government seems dysfunctional without that office and the already mentioned functions hence the need to transfer them back to the government.

He furthermore said the quorum of the LAA Board is seven out of nine members and that experience has shown that the number seven is a bit high and not always practicable since it is not always possible to have seven members per sitting. He as a result said the current quorum hinders the function of the Board hence the need to be reduced to a reasonable number of five to enable efficiency.

Mr. Liholo further said parliament may also recall that the office of the Chief Surveyor had been transferred from the government to the LAA by the LAA Amendment Act 2012 yet this however seemed to have adversely affected the functionality of the office of the Commissioner of Lands which had also been transferred from the LAA to the government.

He said in order to address the problem an agreement was reached between the government and the LAA that the office of the chief Surveyor and the functions of mapping, surveying and related matters thereto be transferred to the Government, and as well as further that a new office of Director of Cadastral Surveys be established within the LAA to deal with administration and examination of all cadastral surveys and related matters.

It was on this note that the Leribe Principal Chief Joel Mots’oene stood in support of the moved Bill amendment that the office of the Chief Surveyor be transferred to government and this saying owing to several issues that need to be addressed on the ground to enable adequate service delivery at the grassroots.

After the second reading of the Bill, Tajane Principal Chief Thato Mohale seconded the amendment, saying the move will enable smooth execution of processes for the benefit of the great majority.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Liholo moved that the Senate resolve into committee on the bill forthwith and the Tsikoane principal Chief, Mrs. Ponts’o Seoehla Mathealira stood in support of clauses one and six and the all clauses one to six were passed as amendments.

The Deputy Minister subsequently expressed gratitude to Members of the House in their robust participation in handling the Bill amendment to ensure its passing and encouraged for such diligence in future deliberations.