As part of its bid to manage and deliver construction projects on behalf of third parties through its Consultancy Service, Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) last week Friday handed over eight complete multi-residential housing units to the Botswana Prison Services (BPS), a project which it had been managing.
The houses, worth P7 million were constructed by a 100 percent citizen owned company, Seemiso Seabelo Construction, while another company L& H Construction was subcontracted to do part of the project. Through its Consultancy Service, BHC undertakes development projects by providing land preparation, budget preparation and designing according to the client’s brief, obtaining all the necessary approvals from relevant authorities, tendering, awarding and supervising construction projects.
Giving an overview of the projects, BHC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Reginald Motswaiso said under the same project, the Corporation delivered other nine houses to BPS last year in Mahalapye, followed by another successful delivery of 10 staff houses in November 2015 in Gaborone.
“Today ladies and gentleman marks yet another successful delivery of eight multi-residential housing units to our valued clients, Botswana Prison Services. This is a clear demonstration of our commitment towards delivering housing solutions to our clients as evidenced by the projects we have since handed over to the satisfaction of the Botswana Prisons Service,” he said.
Motswaiso said BHC discharges its mandate in line with the BHC Act, which calls for the Corporation to provide for the housing, office and other building needs of the government and local authorities; as well as to provide for, assist and to make arrangements for other persons to meet the requirements in finishing house projects. He revealed that the Corporation provides a one stop shop service for all property construction related activities through its range of professional services such as Land Acquisition experts, Architects, Engineers, Quantity Surveyors and Building inspectors.
“It is in this regard that we consistently and confidently assist government institutions and the private sector on issues related to housing development and management in general. Other notable institutions that we are currently managing projects on behalf of include the Botswana Defence Force, Botswana Unified Revenue Services, Ministry of Lands and Housing and other local authorities,” added Motswaiso.
He said BPS approached them three years back to carry out project management services on their behalf and they quickly seized the opportunity; and they continue to deliver to BPS satisfaction. He further said their working relationship has grown immensely with each successfully delivered projects since 2013.
“We have in the past two or so years delivered two blocks of flats for BPS staff in Gaborone at Village. The project was completed in early 2014 and they have entrusted us with other similar projects,” he said.
according to Motswaiso, in July 2015 BHC handed over another housing project comprising of eight BPS houses in Bainesdrift; and another nine other houses in Mahalapye in August 2015.
Motswaiso said construction of the Francistown Prison eight multi residential housing units project commenced in October 2014 and was supposed to take 32 calendar weeks. He said the project was designed to specifically suit the desired requirement of the location.
“This gave our team of architects assigned to this project an opportunity to come up with a modern design of spacious ensuite fitted three beds with an open fitted kitchen and living area suitable for sharing by a maximum of three individuals. The design came about as part of Botswana Prisons Services strategy to address shortage of accommodation amongst their staff members in Francistown,” he said.
For his part, the Commissioner of Botswana Prisons Services, Silas Motlalekgosi said accommodation of staff at BPS is one of their top priorities. He said for one to have dignity, they must have a roof over their head.
“The handing over of these houses today is a clear symbol of our cordial working relationship with the Botswana Housing Corporation. Our centre of gravity at BPS is staff housing. His Excellency, the President, Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama has often made it clear that for one to have dignity, they must have a decent house,” he said.
The Commissioner said if the prison officers are taken care of, they can be able to serve the nation diligently. He encouraged the prison officers to take care of the property so that it can benefit many generations to come.
“BHC has always been our partner and they have proven to be a reliable partner as evidenced by the handing over of houses today. We have often worked with them in previous other projects as the CEO mentioned and they never disappointed us. One last issue is that people should stop perceiving BPS as a mere institution that guards prisoners, but rather we rehabilitate lives, we teach and we reform people to be better people,” said Motlalekgosi to the applause of the participants.