MINISTER of Lands and Natural Resources Elijah Muchima says government, with the support of cooperating partners, has managed to digitise about 300,000 properties and scanned close to 60,000 files.
In a speech read on his behalf by Surveyor General Joseph Minango at the process of digitising land records capacity workshop, Monday, Muchima said government was desirous to implement electronic management in all its dealings.
“I want to thank the World Bank through Zambia Integrated Forest Landscape Project for supporting the work of the Ministry and sponsoring this workshop. This workshop comes at the backdrop of the digitization efforts undertaken by the Ministry in which the Ministry with the support of ZIFLP managed to digitize around 300,000 properties and scanned close to 60,000 files. The digitisation of paper records is considered an important cog in the management of land records in the country. However, the Ministry continues to receive paper records which it has to digitize,” Muchima said.
“You all know colleagues that record management of hardcopy maps is a challenge as you deal with issues of space, retrieval of documents and sharing of such documents. Government has been desirous to implement electronic management in all its dealing and implementing the submission and management of electronic survey record is seen as one of the important milestones in its stride towards e-governance.”
Muchima challenged surveyors to acquaint themselves with the amended Survey Act of 2021.
“As you may be aware, the Parliament in May 2021 passed the Land Survey Amendment Act of 2021. This Act essentially amended Section 31 of the main Act by the inclusion of the following provisions which I would urge my fellow surveyors to be familiar with. These provisions are as follows: A diagram, general plan and survey record may be issued and maintained in electronic form as prescribed. A document authorized or required to be filed with, or delivered to, the Surveyor-General in accordance with this Act, may be filed or delivered by means of a device or facility that records or stores information electronically as prescribed,” he said.
“A document required to be signed, issued or kept by the surveyor-general may be signed, issued or kept in electronic form. A signature for the purpose of this Act includes an electronic or digital signature. A document delivered to the surveyor general which appears to the surveyor general to be incomplete may be corrected electronically by the surveyor general or the land surveyor who delivered the document. As can be seen from these provisions, the surveyor general can now receive electronic documents which are digitally signed by surveyors.
He said it was his hope that the workshop would develop guidelines to help licensed surveyors on the submission of electronic records
“It is my hope, therefore, that this workshop will develop guidelines to help licensed surveyors on the submission of electronic records which will be examined electronically by survey examiners in my office. The workshop should therefore provide guidelines to ensure that the data submitted is ready to be included on the national cadastral index as part of the development of the national spatial data infrastructure,” said Muchima.