Self Help Housing Agency (SHHA) clients in Gaborone owe the city’ council money amounting to P15 million.
This was revealed by Sydney Itireleng, the Gaborone City Council (GCC) senior housing technician in the housing division of the Department of Physical Planning, Housing and Estate Management.
He indicated that regarding the building material loans, as of February 2019 GCC recorded a total of P15,088,369.04 from seven wards in Gaborone.
The seven wards are Old Naledi, Extension 14, Broadhurst, Tsholofelo, Gaborone West, and Boseja (Block 6 and Block 7).
He said the loan that was issued for Old Naledi was P663,050 and their total due stands at P503,661. Extension 14’s loan was P1,204,483.37 and their total due for the month is P667,443,88. Broadhurst loan awarded was P2,938,911.39 while their total due is at P2,920,297.60.
Tsholofelo ward was allocated a P5,870,250 loan whilst its pending total amounted to P5,402,063.37. Gaborone West received P3,360,676.54 loan, but the total due is P2,501,603.74.
As for Boseja ward, Block 7’s loan stands at P1,762,354.36 though their total due now stands at P1,275,889.53 and Block 6’s loan was P1,281,800 and their total due for the month stands at P1,145,181.70.
Itireleng said total receipts for the month of February received from the seven wards was P49,962.50 while the interest was P49,962.50. He went on to say for the turnkey programme that the total loan that was awarded to Old Naledi, Broadhurst, Tsholofelo, Block 7 and Block 6 for the month of February was P9,810,000 and their payments was P22,575.
The housing technician said some of the challenges identified were customers being reluctant to pay despite the collection measures in place, converted plots still appearing on the reports hence continuing to be billed resulting in inflated income hence under collection.
“Another major challenge is old or over 20 years’loan beneficiaries who cannot be easily found or traced. Another challenge is unresolved family disputes. For example, Old Naledi beneficiaries ignoring the debt obligation until a time of selling the plot,” he said. He stated that another major hurdle was issuing loans to plot holders while still owing State land purchase price hence difficult to service them both.
Itireleng, however, said they have interventions in place as GCC, which they have put in place in order to encourage and demand payment from the beneficiaries.
He said they intended to issue statements and demand letters concurrently to all clients seeking information in office as well as weekly follow ups and calling clients with contacts.
“We have started liaising with both rates and deeds office to provide us with a database to update our records. The exercise is proving fruitful and it is still ongoing with the rates office robustly doing the exercise,” he said.
He went on to disclose that they have considered gathering or collecting contact details for clients to enable preparing a sound database that will enable them making contact.