Land Allocation Process in Botswana

The allocation” means the process used by the Government for the distribution or provision of land as a right of occupancy or lease to an individual or a group of persons or legal persons or institutions and organizations.

Citizens may apply for unallocated tribal land in any tribal territory/area in Botswana. Allocation of the land is administered by the twelve (12) Main Land Boards of the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services and their forty-one (41) Subordinate Land Boards. Applicants who are granted land will receive a Certificate of Customary Grant as evidence of their right to the land specified.

Who is eligible?

All citizens of Botswana aged 18 years and over are eligible to apply for available tribal land in any tribal territory or area in Botswana.

How do I get this service?

  • Where a waiting list exists plots, will be allocated to applicants who qualify for allocation or and when there is land available for allocation, citizens will be informed by the Land Boards through advertising on local media and through public forums such as Kgotla meetings. These announcements will include details on the land that is available and the period when applications will be accepted.
  • Complete the (MLH). Land Application Form – Application for customary Land Rights Form and submit the completed form along with the required supporting documentation (as listed below) to the appropriate Land Board or Sub Land Board office during the period specified in the announcement. 
  • Applicants will be informed of the result of their application by mail or telephone.

What supporting documents are required?

Certified copy of a valid National Identity Card (Omang).

How long will this service take?

The allocation process will be complete within three (3) months of the date of the land becoming available for allocation.

How much does it cost?

No fees

Where can I obtain this service?

  • Contact any Land Board or Sub Land Board offices or
  • Call the Ministry of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Toll-Free Number 0800 600 737
  • Opening hours: 07:30 to 12:45 and 13:45 to 16:30, Monday to Friday, except public holidays.

How many plots can one own in Botswana?

Dr. Mzwinila said the law provides that no person must own more than one plot of tribal land. As a result, he said, the ministry will clean the waiting list to ensure that only people who are yet to own residential plots are the ones who put forward when the land allocation process is expedited.

What is the land tenure system in Botswana?

Like other countries in the region, Botswana inherited a dual system of statutory and customary tenure at independence. Despite the contrasting characteristics of these two systems, it has developed a robust land administration, which has greatly contributed to good governance and economic progress.

How do I change land ownership in Botswana?

  1. Certified copy of valid National Identification Card (Omang) from both parties.
  2. Original certificate of grant or lease agreement.
  3. Copy of Instrument signed under Married Persons Property Act (proof of Marriage regime if married and Affidavit if not married)
  4. Decree absolute and court order where applicable.

What are customary land rights in Botswana?

It is an application for the Grant of Customary Rights on Tribal Land. Upon allocation, the plot holder shall be issued with a Deed of Customary Land Grant printed on a paper with special security features. Once granted, the Rights are held in perpetuity and can be passed from one generation to another.

How many hectares Can a person own?

The 1987 Constitution restricts access to public lands. Citizens may acquire public lands of not more than 12 hectares by purchase or land patent, or of no more than 500 hectares by lease.