Gaborone City Council (GCC) has expressed concern over some Self-Help Housing Authority (SHHA) beneficiaries for failure to honour their obligation on funded houses.
The City Mayor, Father Maphongo raised the concern when addressing councillors during the ongoing full council meeting this week. He stated that while it is commendable that the council has been able to allocate plots and issue SHHA loans, it is disappointing that the beneficiaries continue to default on their monthly payments.
Maphongo said the debts have left council with arrears for State land standing at P3, 598, 981. 21 with service levy debt of P4, 351, 312. 04.
“Beneficiaries owe P11, 460, 349. 89 for SHHA building material loans while P7, 464, 510.51 is for Turnkey projects. Others after being allocated the plots sell them,” Maphongo said.
The Mayor pleaded with the beneficiaries to consider repaying their monthly dues and not to sell such plots. He also said the Department of Lands allocated 349 low and middle income plots in September 2019 to deserving applicants.
Maphongo further stated that to this end, out of 349 plots 125 have been successfully allocated while 10 applicants were rejected, as they or their spouses already owned plots elsewhere in urban areas within the country.
“Note that the eligibility criteria to be allocated a SHHA plot as per the administrative and operational procedures for urban and low income housing (SHHA and Turnkey) is such that the applicant or spouse must not own any other residential plot/house in designated urban areas (where a SHHA programme is in operation) hence the reason why some applicants were rejected,” Maphongo said, adding that the remaining plots would be allocated next month.
On a different matter, Maphongo raised yet another concern over most of the roads in Gaborone that have outlived their life span due to ageing and increased traffic volume.
Further stating that the roads are developing potholes and structural fractures, he promised that the council will continue to prioritise maintenance of roads in the city. Maphongo disclosed that council is currently taking advantage of different funding sources like road levy funding, constituency fund and recurrent budget to maintain and upgrade some roads in the city.
“Under road levy funding, an amount of P15, 000, 000 was disbursed to council during the month of February 2020 to undertake resealing and asphalt overlay of some roads in Phakalane and Independence Avenue. Tenders are currently floating,” he said.
The mayor said other projects in progress were funded under recurrent budget like pothole patching that covers 7, 000m2 of potholes and lining of 2km storm water drainage system in flood-prone areas.
“There is also 100km road marking of secondary roads to improve visibility and 7km of delisting and removal of reeds from storm water drains along Nelson Mandela, Broadhurst Industrial area, Block 3 and Gaborone West Industrial to improve flow of storm water,” he said.
Other projects include amongst others the separation of three intersections along western bypass at Game City, Rainbow and Btv circle.
There is also another project of design, supply, installation, operation and maintenance of the new Greater Gaborone traffic signalling system and provision of centralised traffic control at P348, 917, 608. 22.