Low salaries make BHC properties unattractive
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC), Mr Reginald Motswaiso has unravelled the Corporation’s mystique of providing affordable housing and also ensuring that they remain profitable.
Motswaiso’s statement in the BHC 2014 annual report attempts to accommodate the fact that the Corporation operates in an environment where the majority of its prospective customers are earning low salaries, mortgage packages are not affordable, and construction costs are high.
Motswaiso has indicated that BHC has faced a challenge in disposing of its houses because of the global economic slowdown which led to marginal salary increases over a number of years.
The CEO indicated in the BHC annual report that in the midst of low salaries, construction costs had continued to increase at a much faster pace hence the net effect of this has been reduced ability by some of the Corporation’s potential customers to afford its products. “In recognition of this affordability challenge, the Corporation adjusted its operating margins on its new developments downwards,” he said.
The BHC Board chairperson, Dr Bolelang Pheko indicated in her statement that the slow economic recovery had a negative impact on the BHC as government scaled down on new construction projects. She also noted that the prospective BHC customers were also affected as they struggled to afford the houses.
Dr Pheko said in some cases, prospective customers prioritised other basic necessities like food and clothing over home ownership.
She said it is evident that the BHC customers have not benefited from the low interest rates currently prevailing in the market due to issues of affordability of our houses. However the Board chairperson noted that it is expected that as the economy recovers and economic activity increases, BHC will see an increase in demand of its properties, especially in the urban areas where there is shortage of accommodation.
“Despite the economic challenges BHC through its strong leadership, has continued to be financially sustainable. The Corporation remained profitable as costs are closely managed to ensure that the revenues are not eroded.”
Dr Pheko further wrote that they recognise that for BHC to reach out to as many Batswana as possible their products should be reasonably priced.
“This has resulted in the Corporation reducing its profit margins on products in some areas in order to make houses attractive to buyers. We have however not lost sight of the fact that we have to recover our costs in order to be able to remain sustainable and meet our obligation as they become due,” she observed.
Meanwhile, the CEO, Mr Motswaiso indicated that in its effort of trying to empower Batswana with homeownership, the BHC had targeted to sell some 1036 housing properties during the 2014/14 financial year. The properties concerned were located in various parts of the country but principally in Phakalane.
However the Corporation only managed to sell 290 housing units. The main reason for the shortfall in the number of housing units sold was the sewerage capacity problem at Phakalane project.
According to the annual report, the BHC rental income stream remained virtually unchanged at P186.6 million, compared to P187.7 million in the 2012/13 financial year.
“The stagnation in the rental income stream is mainly attributable to the fact that the Corporation has not increased its rental charges since 2004. Whilst the rentals have remained stagnant, the costs related to the administration and upkeep of the properties making up the rental portfolio keeps on increasing year after year due to upward push exerted by inflationary pressures. As an illustration of this upward push, the cost of maintaining the rental portfolio increased from P35.5 million in 2012/13 to P39.5 million, an increase of 11 percent.”
Currently the BHC says it is pushing the strategy of building more and more houses for sale and they describe it as ‘paramount’ to their existence because they have been mandated to house the nation. “In order to accelerate homeownership drive, BHC has embarked on the sitting tenants campaign this financial year, which is intended to encourage sitting tenants to purchase the properties they are currently leasing in order to realise the value in this properties.”
However this has faced its own challenges, affordability levels of the Corporation’s existing customers is challenged compared with the mortgages the banks can offer. BHC hopes that the campaign will increase homeownership.
Dr. Judey Pretorius shines light on the path to True Skincare at the Renewal Aesthetics Convention
At the heart of the recent Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, a gathering renowned for its cutting-edge insights into health and beauty, stood Dr. Judey Pretorius, a luminary in the realm of biomedical science and skincare innovation. The award-winning founder of Biomedical Emporium captivated attendees with her profound understanding of skin health, bridging the gap between regenerative medicine and everyday skincare practices.
Dr. Pretorius, celebrated for her contributions to the field, delved into the uniqueness of individual skin types, drawing an intriguing parallel with a biblical quote, “I knew you before I created you.” This analogy underscored her message that just as no two fingerprints are alike, the same holds true for our skin. It was a compelling call to action against the one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, urging attendees to embrace their uniqueness and cautioning against the imitation of others’ skincare routines.
Highlighting the importance of personalized skincare, Dr. Pretorius emphasized the need for professional guidance when addressing skin concerns. “Seeking help from professionals trained in skin treatment and management is crucial,” she advised, pointing out that what works for one individual may not necessarily be effective for another due to the distinct nature of each person’s skin.
Beyond the surface, Dr. Pretorius expanded the conversation to include the intrinsic link between nutrition and skin health. She posited that a healthy gut is a precursor to radiant skin, suggesting that “sometimes, the skin acts as a window to what’s happening inside the body.” This perspective not only highlights the external indicators of internal well-being but also serves as a reminder of the holistic approach required for genuine skincare.
In her discussion, Dr. Pretorius also touched upon essential products that should find a place in everyone’s skincare arsenal, though she remained adamant that professional consultation is key to effectively addressing and potentially reversing certain skin conditions and damage.
The Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, renowned for bringing together thought leaders and innovators in the beauty and wellness industries, provided the perfect platform for Dr. Pretorius to share her insights. Her session was not just an educational journey into the science of skincare but also a reminder of the deeply personal journey to understanding and caring for one’s skin. Attendees left equipped with the knowledge that true beauty and skin health begin with recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of their skin, advocating for a tailored approach to skincare that mirrors the individuality of each person.
Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights
In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities
At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.
During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society
Morwaengâ€™s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.
An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.
Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture
Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo ventureâ€”an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)â€”heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.
During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.
“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this yearâ€™s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.
Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of othersâ€”once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.
Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.