Local construction companies registered with the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board (PPADB) under category B have been selected to build houses for people benefiting from the turnkey programme in all political constituencies.
Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) Chief Executive Officer, Reginald Motswaiso, said at the start of the Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) turnkey developments in Maun that the BHC was chosen to be the single housing authority.
It means the BHC has the mammoth task of administering the building of all government facilities, acting on a presidential directive cab 20 B of July 2010. These include staff housing for both government and council staff.
Until recently, the SHHA was overseen by local authorities.
Its takeover by the BHC has been commended as a progressive move, given past delays by the North West District Council to process applications.
The NWDC has so far received over 473 applications, seen as a large number that might time take to accomplish.
The BHC will only start with the building of 68 houses, which is quite a small number. Seventeen of these houses will be built in Maun East, another 17 in Maun West and the same number in Ngamiland and Okavango districts respectively.
He said they will try all they can not to exceed the anticipated completion time of 16-24 weeks.
“Our wish is that all beneficiaries should visit the site from time to time during construction so that they may have a say in the construction of their houses. This is so because we want to avoid situations whereby we are made to account for issues which are not of concern to us. In some instances, people lodge complaints about the state they find their houses in when construction has been completed already,” he said.
Furthermore, Motswaiso said their building standards are the same, as seen at other government buildings.
He also advised that even though councils do their own inspections before handing over, the BHC always recommend that beneficiaries occupy their houses for sometime after they are completed, so that they may spot any defects.
In this defects liability period, which is six months, he said beneficiaries should be able to find any faults and report back, so that the contractor may be called back if the need arises.
NWD Council Chairman Latlhang Molonda said that though there hasn’t been any progress since the takeover of the SHAA and Turnkey programme by the BHC, the NWDC will now be relieved as they had in the past approved applications only for people to be made to wait longer as they did not know what to tell them.
“It is also worth noting that soon after approval of applications, deductions also start because we take it that the loan has been approved. So we were like taking people’s money and not being able to deliver on time,” he said.
Molonda also said beneficiaries should make it a point that they re-pay their loans so that others may benefit.
He said the Maun Administrative Authority is owed over P3.4 million, while the Okavango sub district council is owed P60 million in arrears.
He said council has had difficulties locating defaulting beneficiaries as most of them have since sold their houses and relocated to other places.