The Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) intends to nurture and give priority to citizen owned construction companies, with the hope that they will grow and start competing with foreign owned companies.
In their annual report for 2010, the former Board chairman of the corporation, Bojosi Otlhogile, made a note of what many had been complaining about, that the construction industry in Botswana is currently dominated by big foreign-owned companies.
Bojosi revealed that the board has decided that the BHC will soon implement a citizen contractor’s empowerment policy.
“This policy will ensure that a systematic and sustainable effort is made to promote the direct participation of citizen contractors in the corporation’s projects,” said Otlhogile.
Otlhogile said that the corporation was doing its part in promoting home-ownership in the country because they know that, as economists have observed, wealth creation can be accelerated through home-ownership.
He said that the corporation has gone to the extent of venturing into areas that have never been served by BHC before. He said that they wanted to give people who have settled in those areas a chance to own a BHC house. The BHC has started housing projects in Serowe and Ghanzi and plans to venture into other areas in the coming financial years.
In the year 2010, the corporation had a target of selling 638 housing units to raise an estimated P203 million pula. However, it only managed to sell 484 housing units for 150 million.
Otlhogile points out the fact that the financial crisis has proven to be a challenge on the demand for the corporation’s products and services. The leadership of the corporation then sought to find an answer to address the imbalance.
He stated that the board and management came to the realisation that the corporation’s rate of delivery of housing units was outpaced by the growth in the demand for housing.
“The implementation of the corporation’s NDP 10 aligned 7 year strategic plan ,which commenced in the 2009/10 financial year, will see a quantum leap in the rate of delivery of housing units,” said Otlhogile, who stepped down as the board Chairman in May.
The Chief Executive Officer of BHC, Reginald Motswaiso, said that they now have a target of delivering over 29 000 houses in 7 years between the years of 2009 and 2016.He said that the corporation aims to roll out most of its development capital from one project to the next. The corporation, he said, now strives to sell at least 80 percent of houses delivered in any financial year. Motswaiso said that the corporation had realised that some of its potential customers would not afford houses constructed using the traditional brick and mortar method of construction.
“To address this concern and to try and make the corporation’s products more affordable, the corporation has continued to search for, and experiment with, various alternative methods of construction,” said Motswaiso.