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The cost of land allocation fees still offering a good return on land in Zambia

Zambia has a lot of land, over 700,000 sq km and since land is a factor of production, it has been government’s job to allocate land to its citizens in order that they make productive use of it. Government charges citizens nominal land fees for the allocation of land but recent changes to the law have meant these land fees have risen drastically. Land fees for a plot of 50 x 40 square metres were K2,000 and are now K15,000. A 60 x 50 square metre plot attracted land fees of K3,000 and is now K27,000.

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Naturally, many people are very unhappy with these huge hikes and argue that it will exclude many citizens from owning land especially since the fees have to be paid within 90 days of the offer for land being made. But compared to the value of the land, the fees are still relatively modest. In fact some sources within government note with dismay that as soon as land is allocated at a nominal fee, many people often just sell the land immediately making extremely handsome profits. Why shouldn’t government benefit from the upside by increasing the fees?

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