Jwaneng — Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Mr Vincent Seretse has urged the private sector to play a role in providing accommodation for Batswana.
Speaking at the launch of 72 Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) houses in Jwaneng on Tuesday, Mr Seretse said provision of housing should not be the responsibility of government and its agents alone.
He said BHC as an organ of government could not manage to meet the high demand of accommodation experienced countrywide.
"We do acknowledge that government and its agencies alone will not be able to satisfactorily address shortage of accommodation in the country.
We therefore encourage the private sector to join hands in tackling the accommodation shortage problem, especially in urban and peri-urban centres, where it makes business sense to invest," he said.
Mr Seretse said the 72 houses built by BHC would alleviate accommodation shortage in Jwaneng, which has resulted in exorbitant rentals and to some extent others forced to commute from far places such as Kanye and Gaborone.
Furthermore, he said the project was not only intended to alleviate accommodation shortage, but also promote home ownership as well as to establish decent neighbourhoods.
The minister said BHC continued to construct houses across the country, with ongoing projects in areas such as Gaborone, Palapye and Tati Siding among others, while other projects are earmarked for Maun, Letlhakane and Tsabong.
"All these projects are a clear demonstration of the government's commitment towards addressing accommodation shortage problem wherever it is prioritised across the country," he said.
The BHC chief executive officer, Mr Reginald Motswaiso said the project, which comprises 49 low cost, 22 medium cost and one high cost house, was divided into two contracts and awarded to 100 per cent citizen owned companies.
He said the project started in October 2016 and was supposed to take 36 weeks, but due to challenges there was delay.
"The first challenge was with regards to the vacuum sewer complication, which required engagement of specialists to come and assist with modifications to the design to suit our needs for the project.
Secondly, connection of electricity to the houses took longer than expected. However we are grateful all of these challenges have been addressed and the project is ready to be sold to qualifying Batswana," he said.
For his part, Member of Parliament for Jwaneng/Mabutsane, Mr Shawn Ntlhaile commended BHC for striving to provide accommodation to Batswana, especially government employees.
He said the recent project would reduce the number of people commuting from places such as Kanye.
However, he urged the government to regulate rentals to avoid exorbitant rates experienced, especially in urban areas such as Jwaneng.
He said BHC should aim to provide affordable accommodation as opposed to making profits.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>