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Thousands on SHAA waiting list

GOITSEMODIMO KAELO
PAC members Bogolo Kenewendo, Ndaba Gaolathe and Samson Guma PIC: KAGISO ONKATSWITSE
Lack of funding has been blamed for the huge backlog bedevilling the SHAA Home Improvement scheme.

SHAA is programme under which government assists employed individuals with low/medium income aged between 21 and 60 with affordable housing.

The main objective of this scheme is to provide funding for extension or renovation of an existing house and/ or completion of an existing house and/ or completion of an unfinished structure.

Permanent secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development Dikagiso Mokotedi told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that the project is experiencing backlog, with 4,200 individuals on the waiting list. He said that the applicants have not been assisted due to financial constraints.

“These people have been assessed, gone through all the process and approved. They are just waiting assistance, but due to financial constraints we have not been able to assist them,” he said.

When responding to questions by committee members who wanted to know what strategies are in place to improve access to affordable housing for Batswana, Mokotedi explained that there are interventions by

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government such as Turnkey and Home Improvement Loan which have assisted many families. However, he said that financial constraints have derailed progress of the programs.

He said that social housing is necessary, but it is attainable through funding. Mokotedi further explained that the Botswana Housing Corporation has struggled to provide housing to Batswana at affordable rates as expected due to lack of subvention from government.

Early this year, the Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Nonofo Molefhi told Parliament during committee of supply that government has funded the SHAA Home Improvement with funds amounting to P39 million during the financial year 2015/2016. He said that the amount was disbursed to various councils for 907 housing projects of which 346 housing units have been completed while 561 are under construction.

In addition, he said that 3,751 of 4,040 home improvement projects funded from 2008/2009 to 2014/2015 have been completed while 289 are at various stages of construction.



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