Botswana is pinning hopes on Chinese companies which can contribute to the provision of decent and affordable housing in the southern African country.
GABORONE, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) -- With almost three out of every four Botswanan citizens living in urban areas and the ratio expected to grow to four in every five by 2050, the southern African country is pinning hopes on Chinese companies which can contribute to the provision of decent and affordable housing in the southern African country.
Currently, the cheapest low-cost house in Botswana sells for more than 35,000 U.S. dollars, which is above what the market can afford, said Kefentse Mzwinila, Botswana's minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services, when marking World Habitat Day in Gaborone, capital of Botswana.
"For affordable housing to make progress, house prices should be in the 20,000 USD to 25,000 USD range. And Chinese construction companies are making it easier for Botswana to provide decent housing because their charges are not that expensive," said Mzwinila.
Mzwinila said to build the 50,000 housing units over the next decade at a price point of 20,000 USD, Botswana has invested more than 1 billion U.S. dollars. And companies like Unik Construction, China Civil Engineering Construction (Botswana) Pty Ltd and others are doing a sterling job in providing decent housing to the locals, especially public servants.
Speaking at the same event, Masego Mogwera, the president of the Botswana Public Employees Union, said Chinese firms have played a positive role in providing decent housing in Botswana.
"For the past ten years or so, we have witnessed a much-improved advancement in provision of accommodation for government workers," said Mogwera, adding that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has been making great strides in growing bilateral relations between China and Botswana.
In 1985, the United Nations designated the first Monday of October every year as World Habitat Day. The idea is to reflect on the state of towns and cities and the basic right of all to adequate shelter. This year's World Habitat Day, which fell on Oct. 3, was observed under the theme "Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind."