Sethebe Manake is one of the featured speakers at the Affordable Housing Investment Summit Africa 2020. The following telephonic interview with her, attempts to shed light on the key issues of information availability for planning of affordable housing projects.
- As a company, what does Vantage do and what difference does it create in the affordable housing space?
Vantage Properties is a data driven firm which provides information structures for
development to happen. It supports the users of affordable housing by helping to deliver
houses by the builders which suit their every aspect of life and provides for a better living.
We study homebuyer behaviour, their key issues, their preferences like apartment blocks or house on the ground, their comforts, work dynamics, proximity to market place, access to employment opportunities, etc.
- What has your experience been so far with the housing investments in Botswana?
The quality of houses built here are good, but they serve largely the high income groups or the ones who have stable and reliable sources of income while significantly missing the marginalized community.
- What according to you is the biggest challenge to affordable housing in Botswana?
Cost of materials would be the most significant among others. We are a landlocked country with low manufacturing capacity at the moment. So the developer loses control over the costs of buildings and is forced to push it to higher market. Renewable alternatives are being looked at, but due to the lack of accreditation by
regulators, it is mostly seen as substandard. Traditional African building materials are in fact a very good substitutes as the raw materials are easily available, they are easy make, also are airy and environmentally safer and provide employment.
- What does Vantage do to resolve this?
We disseminate the right kind of information to avoid cost overruns; we work with developers to build houses for the right kind of people and also explore various building
materials so the client can make an informed decision rather than getting into it and then realizing they are not able to sustain the costs.
- What is your take on liveability?
For me it primarily means providing for housing which ensures safety, comfort and hygiene.
- Since you were also a part of the youth council, do youth in your country actively take part is solving these issues?
Not as much as they should. But these days we see a lot of young entrepreneurs offering
products like locally made light bulbs, bricks, sand, alternate energy sources etc. which will have a positive impact on housing.
- What’s the biggest risk factor you consider while providing developer finance?
Security provided by the owner which is how authentic their documents are, how firm the title deeds are how solid the agreement is and if the owner has complete control of the property. And also the strength of the off-take becomes a major factor.
- Which country in your opinion is the best one to invest right now for affordable housing?
I would say Rwanda because the information available to potential investors or developers is advantageous, they have managed to define affordable housing precisely with respect to the dynamics of their country and they have very good opportunities for investment.
- What makes you attend AHIS 2020?
We are raising funds for investment and looking for opportunities to invest in across the continent and I see AHIS as a great platform for achieving this.
After this intriguing conversation, we look forward to more of her insights at the panel
discussion titled: Affordability, Liveability & Profitability at the 2 nd Edition AHIS happening on the 27 th and 28 th of May at Lagos Continental Hotel. If you found this to be your ‘thing’ do drop in your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply Click Here.