There is huge demand in residential and industrial sectors
Property development giant, Victor Senye has warned that despite the ongoing property boom, investors should exercise caution over which property sectors they invest in.
Senye, Managing Director of Haighs Investments, a property development company, expressed concern over the glut in office space which has led to newly built offices remaining vacant and pushing the prices down.
“The property industry is still vibrant but investors need to take caution as other property sectors are now over supplied,” Senye said.
He said the oversupply is hurting the property prices and rents and most office blocks which are not located in the prime location are forced to unreasonably lower their prices.
Gaborone, the capital city is currently experiencing massive construction of properties, such as malls and office blocks, mainly funded by commercial banks and other financiers.
“There are quite a number of upscale developments which are not fully tenanted in Gaborone and already we can see the CBD is coming up adding more office space to an already flooded market,” he said.
Senye highlighted that even financiers and investors are concerned with the overtraded commercial and office space.
“There is need to approach with caution because what is now happening in the market is that the customer is now dictating the price because the supply is too high,” he said.
Senye said other property portfolios like residential property market remain strong, and there is a high demand for residential property. “Investors could possibly shift their attention to this area as there is a huge demand which hasn’t been met,” he said.
Another indicator that demand remains strong is the increasing value of outstanding property loans. In January 2014, total outstanding property loans to households surged by 44% to BWP6.79 billion (US$782 million) from the same period last year.
Similarly the industrial side is faced with a high demand. Senye said the industrial property sector had ben ignored for a long time and now there is a huge demand for industrial area that hasn’t been met.
He revealed that property developers are still faced with a number of challenges that include of unavailability of serviced land and access t funding.
“Access to funding and serviced land is still a major challenge one has to go through a lot of hurdles to get financing or even serviced land,” said Senye.
However he said there are a lot of opportunities in the industrial and residential and a new area that’s emerging is that of student accommodation.
Prices for cereals or staple foods in Botswana and other Southern African countries continue to rise at a slower pace, following trends in the global markets, according to the latest November 2022 Food Price Monitoring and Analysis by Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.
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Botswana Institution Of Engineers (BIE), has last week hosted a gala dinner in which they appreciated engineers who worked tirelessly and with dedication for 10 years from 1983 to steer the BIE to its current status.
The event that was held at the Phakalane Golf Estate had brought together young, experienced and veteran engineers and was held under the theme “Vitalize the dignity and eminence of all professional engineers”.
Explaining the theme, the institution’s treasurer, Thanabalasingam Raveendran said that engineers were looked upon reverentially with respect as the educated but with time it seems to have deteriorated. He indicated that there is a need to change the narrative by all means.
“The BIE exists for the welfare and the betterment of us Botswana engineers, we need to recognize specialised units within our Institution. We Engineers strongly believe in Engineers make it happen” Raveendran said.
He indicated that under the theme they appeal to all engineers to energize, to attain quality of being worthy of honour and respect and to achieve recognized superiority amongst the Society.
Raveendran stated that engineers need to ensure their end product is of good quality satisfying the end users expectations and engineers must be honest in their work.
“Approximately 8000 engineers registered with Engineering Regulatory Board (ERB) are not members of the BIE, engineers need to make every effort to recruit them to BIE” he said.
He alluded that BIE being a society, it currently needs to upgrade itself at par with professional institutions elsewhere like the UK and USA.
He further stated that BIE has to have engineering units of specialised disciplines like Civil/Mechanical/electrical etc
“As President Masisi indicated in his inaugural speech, the young people, who make 60 percent of the population of this country, are the future leaders and therefore investing in them is building the bridge to the future” said Raveendran
Kandima indicated that BIE has a memorandum of Understanding with Engineers Registration Board (ERB), where BIE is a recognised provider of CPD training, mentorship programmes and more importantly IPD undertaking to upgrade the skills and know-how of our engineers.
“For us to achieve our mandate and make worthwhile changes to engineering in Botswana, we have to be totally focused and act with intent” said Kandima.
Furthermore, Stephen Williams, past president of the BIE from 1986-1988 told the engineers that the BIE provides a fertile environment where they can meet, share ideas and grow professionally.
“The BIE is also a nesting place for graduate engineers to learn from their peers and seniors, it also cater for engineering technicians and technologists and so nobody in the technology field is left out” he said.
He further indicated that Botswana Government provides a conductive environment for growth of engineering professionals.
“It must be stated that the Botswana Government recognises the existence of BIE and it can further be stated that the government enables ERB to carry out its mandate as a regulator of engineering professionals” said Williams
He plead with engineering companies to recognize and support BIE as it is the only source of engineering personnel’s for various Industries .
Furthermore, when giving his farewell speech, Michael Pinard , a past president of the institution said how they are viewed as engineers by the general public might be due to some lack of appreciation as to exactly what role they play in the development of the country.
“The BIE slogan is aptly coined-Engineers make it happen, in other words, what man dreams engineers create” Said Pinard.