Ministry Seeks Alternative Ways to House Nation

| May 20, 2015

Ministry of Lands and Housing is coming up with a number of interventions to ease acute accommodation shortage and close some of the existing gaps that make it difficult for certain groupings within the society to own houses, says Minister Prince Maele.

Mr Maele said when addressing Southern District full council meeting on May 18 that as the ministry charged with housing portfolio, they wanted to pilot a number of housing initiatives among them Installment Purchase Scheme, Youth Housing, and Public Officers Housing to address accommodation shortage.

“We have realised that there is a bracket of people who for instance cannot access existing schemes such as Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) and many other existing housing initiatives and as such we would like to close these gaps,” he said.

He stated his ministry intended to build flats to house youth whose monthly income is P7 000 and below. He said young people earning above P7 000 should be able to secured own accommodation from private owners. Plans are also afoot to build 14 houses under public officers housing for officers at D4 band and below in Kanye, he added.

Minister Maele, who is also Tswapong North legislator, stated that his ministry would build 150 units within the 18 hector plot it had been allotted in Mheelo in Kanye.

He also briefed councillors about a policy which he presented in last parliamentary session, adding that the piece of legislation intends to harmonise the many pieces of land policy into one law and make land management effective.

The minister raised a concern at the rate at which Batswana are selling land, saying if not attended to, it could have dire consequence in future.

He therefore called on councillors to sensitise people about the danger of selling land and also warned councillors not to be seen to be encouraging squatting that has gone on the increase across the country.

Commenting, councillors decried growing backlog of SHHA housing whose construction had been given to Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC). They said BHC has failed to deliver and this has not gone well with beneficiaries some of whom councillors said have lost hope.

For his part, Moshupa Sub- council chairperson, Councilor Benjamin Mogodi complained that the corporation never attends SHHA committee meetings to give council update on progress made.

Mabutsane Sub- district chairperson, Councilor Kgopolo Ramosesane said “the council has been reduced to an approval authority without knowledge of progress made by BHC to construct and hand over houses to us for inspection.”

On undeveloped plots, Councilor Ramosesane attributed unavailability of serviced land as the primary reason people do not develop plots allotted to them.

Councilor Tlhomamo Dibeela of Kanye Administrative Authority reported that in spite of loan recovery initiatives by the council, Turn-Key beneficiaries are not coming forth with their payments.

On housing initiatives ear-marked for Kanye, Councilor Dibeela stated that water necessary for construction should not be a problem saying the village of Kanye boasts of two boreholes with huge water yields that have been closed in the past due to water contamination.

Goodhope Sub council chairperson, Councilor Mmaobene Molefhe also decried SHHA backlog. She noted communication break-down between Council and BHC need to be addressed so that the two may be effective in their quest to provide Batswana with quality housing.

Some councillors said people sell plots in fear of repossession while some do so because they had given up on ever securing a plot in a particular area due to the length of time taken before one is given a plot.

This, they said had resulted in some people acquiring land elsewhere and thereby making it difficult to develop the first plot because they would have exhausted resources needed to construct another plot.

However, BHC chief executive officer, Mr Reginald Motswaiso promised councillors that his corporation has come up with a working model that would ensure that all houses in Southern District under construction under SHHA be completed and handed over to the council in June this year.

This, he stated would be done at the exclusion of houses in Good Hope Sub- district which he said would have to wait because the council had made changes to the list of original beneficiaries.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Governance

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