Commercial banks want the government to change the law to make it easier for land leases to be used as collateral for loans, but their plans are ill-timed as the wider problem of corruption in the Department of Lands remains unresolved and this latest plan could mean the legality of fraudulent leases like the Special Agriculture and Business Leases titles could not be challenged.
The banks have issued a report calling for the authenticity of titles issued by the Department of Lands to be protected so the leases can become bankable.
"The banks want to lend money and use land leases as security for their money. This creates a win win situation for them," explains Effrey Dademo. "But unfortunately it also puts people's futures in jeopardy. The banks make profits on the loan repayments and if the lender defaults they seize the land and sell it. But once a landowner losses their land it is gone for ever."
"The banks claim that mortgaging land is crucial for economic growth and income generation but what they mean is it is crucial for their profits. The landowners are the ones who get burdened with all the risk in such arrangements."
"Rather than facilitating another corporate land grab, the government should concentrate on dealing with the SABL crisis and returning land already stolen from local people back to them".