Botswana Journal of Technology

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Peri-urbanisation and the evolution of land rights in Greater Gaborone: the case of Tlokweng

FT Kalabamu, B Bolaane


This paper attempts to account for Tlokweng’s resilience against informal land transactions prevalent on city fringes in many developing countries. It notes that, despite being one of the first Botswana villages to urbanise, Tlokweng, unlike most peri-urban settlements around Gaborone, has (until the late 1990s) been able to strictly observe customary land- tenure practices. In addition, and contrary to evolutionary theory of land rights predictions, customary land-tenure practices have neither become unstable nor led to mismanagement of land resources in the village. The village has been devoid of the illegal and chaotic land transactions and developments that have characterised other peri-urban villages. This paper highlights the various strategies adopted by Tlokweng communities to resist informal land transactions as well as the factors that encourage quasi-legal land transfers. It ends with some recommendations on the way forward.

Key words: Tlokweng; urbanisation; customary land rights

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