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BHC tears over rental arrears

Corporation owed P27 million in outstanding rentals

BHC tears over rental arrears

As Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) officially introduced new prices for its units this week, they did so on the backdrop of being owed P27 million in rental arrears.

As of 1st April, BHC tenants saw a hike in their rentals as the Corporation enforced an increase for the first time in 16 years.

Confirming they are owed millions, speaking to Voice Money this week, BHC Head of Marketing and Communication, Gomolemo Zimona revealed that as of the end of February the figure stood at a whopping P27 million.

However, he refused to go into detail on the debt.

“We are not at liberty to disclose arrears of any party to our agreement with the media,” explained Zimona.

In terms of BHC tenant composition, government accounts for 45.20 percent of BHC’s 9, 887 units as it rents 4, 469 units.

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Individuals account for 27.45 percent of BHC houses (or 2, 714 units) closely followed by companies and local authorities at 27.35 percent (2, 704 units).

On what measures the Corporation is taking to recover the money owed to it, Zimona revealed BHC has processes guided by its internal policies and lease agreements.

“In terms of initiatives adopted by the Corporation to ensure collection of arrears, we have a collection process guided by our internal policies as well the lease agreement signed with its tenants,” he highlighted.

Zimona added that BHC has and will continue to use this process to collect the arrears and ensure they are cleared.

Although the increase in rentals may seem steep, the Corporation remains confident there will be no mass exodus of clients from its houses.

This is because, despite the increase, BHC believes its rentals are still below the market rate and as such does not envisage a situation where people vacate its houses for those with higher rental prices.

Last year, the Corporation reported a profit after tax of P5.3 million for the six-month period ended 30 September 2020.

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This was a drop of P12.1 million, from P17.4 million registered during the corresponding period in 2019.

BHC’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Reginald Motswaiso blamed the lower margins on poor sales in areas away from the organisation’s major markets of Gaborone and Francistown.

The drop in profits was also attributed to lockdowns imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19, which resulted in low activity at BHC’s contraction sites.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Mpho

    April 8, 2021 at 4:22 pm

    I don’t know of a mass exodus, but I know at least 2 people who have already left their BHC house because of the rent increase. combined with all the other increases and during this pandemic I don’t understand what these companies are thinking.

    many of use don’t even know if we are going to have a job these increases are just making a bad situation worse.

    why are they letting others not pay their rent? this is like the Vat issue again they increased the vat but their collection polices from what I heard are very poor. whats the purpose for increasing the vat when people are not paying the vat they owe?

    the government must give more resources to BURS to make some sort of team to investigate companies, especially those who are not registered for VAT even if they are supposed to be. kanna Botswana is blessed with some of the lowest taxes in Southern Africa and yet people are penny pinching and not paying their dues? How is this country supposed to prosper when people take and don’t give back?

    We should all contribute both citizen and non-citizen. I don’t like this story I heard of the government putting more burden on the foreigners, are they trying to say all the citizens are poor or what?

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