Moupo condemns housing for sale policy

Botswana National Front (BNF) leader Otsweletse Moupo has condemned the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) for building houses only for sale. He said in Parliament that BHC has totally lost direction from its initial role of providing rental houses for the people. He urged the BHC to provide rental accommodation to thousands of people in Gaborone and Francistown who live in one-roomed houses.

He added that many Batswana cannot afford to buy houses and the government should revisit its position on housing. He complained that the number of houses that BHC builds annually (around 700) is too low and should go up four times.  The MP said that some of the recently built houses in Block 7 Mogoditshane are vacant perhaps because many people cannot afford to buy them.  He stressed that there should be houses that newly employed people can afford to rent.

He said that BHC should adopt cheaper ways of building houses  to increase the number of housing units it constructs every year.  He said that if there is political will to provide housing to the people looking at the wealth Botswana has, there would be no shortage of accommodation. Moupo felt that construction of more houses can reduce unemployment since contractors would buy building materials from local retailers.  The MP warned that sale of land to every person irrespective of where they come from is risky. He said that foreigners should not buy land but should lease it if they want to do business in the country.

Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources Ponatshego Kedikilwe advised government to act quickly to make sure that Village Development Committees share revenues made from river-sand mining. He called for the involvement of Land Boards in the monitoring of river-sand hauling as the Minister of Lands, Ramadeluka Seretse, had long promised. 

Kedikilwe pleaded with the lands ministry to extend Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) to other villages as well as increase its funding.  He welcomed the new recording system for Land Boards. He said the construction of Mmadinare Senior Secondary School was delayed because Land Board officers forgot that they(Land Boards) had allocated a 25-hectare plot for the school.  It was only after he pressed them hard that they remembered the allocation.

MP for Selebi-Phikwe East ,Nonofo Molefhi, complained about the shortage of accommodation for civil servants in Selebi-Phikwe.  He pleaded with BHC to build houses in Selebi-Phikwe.  He called on the Lands Minister to drive Land Boards into civilisation saying that they should adopt modern and sophisticated operations. 

MP for Letlhakeng East, Gordon Mokgwathi said that allocation of plots in his area has s been stopped. He urged the Minister of Lands to complete whatever study the ministry was doing to resume allocations.

Editor's Comment
A Call For Government To Save Jobs

The minister further shared that from the 320 businesses that notified the Commissioner of Labour about their plans to retrench, 20 were acceded to, which resulted in 204 workers being retrenched during April 2020 and July 2021.The retrenchments were carried out while the SoE was in place, meaning the companies that succeeded must have had solid reasons, despite the strict SOE regulations imposed on businesses to not retrench. We are left with...

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