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01.08 - 14.08.2011


NEWS > 02 The Unanswered Questions In The Carter Morupisi’s Chinese CCECC Corruption Sting 03 “Building Botswana” Conference & Exhibition 2011

Botswana’s Architecture Design and Urban Landscape Newspaper



EDITORIALS > 04 ‘Redevelopment’ of Extension 2 by Gaborone City Council: Part 2 05 The Plight of Gaborone North Residents

BUILDINGS > 06 Sebele Shopping Centre Officially Opens to the Public 07 Proposed World Trade Centre Project by Arctez

COMMENTS > 11 Student Experiences; Architecture School 13 Commentary: ‘Creating Homes for the People Should Not Be a “Pet Project”’

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Bridgetown Resort: The Adventurer’s Paradise Images and Text © Bridgetown Resort

Aerial View of BDC’s Iconic Tower

Official Groundbreaking of the BDC Towers by Esther Amogelang

Fairs cape Precinct a development by Botswana Development Corporation Limited (BDC) was officially ground broken at the showground on the 14 July 2011 by Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Ms Gloria Somolekae. The Realm of Splendour has a unique design with a piazza forming the central

having an array of shops and open cafés, hence providing a vibrant space where locals and visitors can mingle. When opening the event BDC Managing Director, Ms Maria Nthebolang could not stop expressing her happiness with this multimillion project by BDC. >>> CONTINUED PAGE 02 Green Spaces and entertainment amenities

Bridgetown (Pty) Ltd is a wholly owned, citizen company formed and incorporated for the specific purpose of developing the BRIDGETOWN project in Kazungula, Botswana. The shareholders are two Batswana who have joined forces, pooled their resources and embarked on this journey to bring their vision to the benefit of ordinary Batswana.

Revised Gaborone City Development Plan (1997-2021)

Time Projects Prime Plaza coming to the CBD by Boidus Admin

The first ever A-grade perceptible offices development by Time Projects situated at the corner of Khama Crescent and PG Matante Drive is on course to improve the Gaborone, CBD aesthetic. It will be the first ‘’green developments’’ of its kind in Botswana with the intention of providing a building that is green as possible. The green building will have waterless urinals, grey water harvesting, solar gyBoidus is on FACEBOOK “BoidusBW”

sers and through the use of north, east and west facades among other things. The site will consist of 3 buildings of which 1 is currently being let, a basement, and open bays. Based on the “Melrose Arch” concept the development will have a modern commercial city development to accommodate a variety of tenants ranging from small professionals to large corporate users. >>> CONTINUED PAGE 06

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The project will at its completion boast 92 cabana units entailing — 74 double storey buildings and 17 single units— along perennial Chobe river that starts from Angola cutting across Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe before offloading into Mozambique and the Indian Ocean.

BRIDGETOWN will function as a fully self catering luxury lodge, with the patrons having the luxury of their own restaurant, Lodge style reception, management office suite, Laundry, Spa/Wellness Centre, Children’s playground, transport links and fully stocked convenience store, a HOME AWAY FROM HOME. >>> CONTINUED PAGE 10

The Resort, set to be constructed just off the banks of the Chobe River will offer its users a reviving and astounding view of the river. Set to be built only a few kilometers from the planned Historic, Country Linking Bridge over the mighty Zambezi River, Bridgetown will be a unique place in Africa, not only a place where you can bridge FOUR COUNTRIES, but a place where the gateway to an adventurer’s paradise opens. The Complex will boast: Bird’s eye view of the entire complex

92 luxurious and SPACIOUS, self catering apartments, all fully furnished, equipped and set out in the best that modern architecture, furniture, appliances and technology can provide. The final touches to the resort will be the construction of a luxury Hotel and Conference facility.

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Decked walkways make the complex easily accessible

Physical Address Ko-i-nor House, Office 11 Main Mall, Gaborone

Multi-level balconies maximize views of river

Contact P.O. Box 50097, Gaborone

Local / Regional News Page 2

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Official Groundbreaking of The Unanswered Questions In The Carter the BDC Towers Morupisi’s Chinese CCECC Corruption Sting by Esther Amogelang

by Boidus Admin

sible to get, since these guys never want to speak to the media, let alone a start up such as ours, I would like to hear from him how he responds to the following questions:

>>> FROM PAGE 01

She mentioned that BDC has in the past played a leading role to support the country with its commercial and industrial developments of which the government shares 100 percent of its subsidiary. She therefore said the corporation have came up with a new strategy which focuses on the private sector to create a more competitive business environment which will lead to economic diversification. This according to her will be achieved through the use of services and products like: Equity Participation, Loan Financing, Invoice Discounting and Property among others Nthebolang said the development will comprise of retail, office, hotel and residential units, restaurants, offices, penthouses among others of which the construction is to commence September 2011. It will not only house the BDC Headquarters and shape the outlook of the

Carter Morupisi, Permanent Secretary, MIST

Aerial View of BDC’s Iconic Tower

showground but will also help shape the look of Gaborone in general. Lastly Chairman of Commercial Holdings, Mr Batlang Mmualefe applauded the event organizers Dialogue Saatchi & Saatchi for making the groundbreaking a success. He also congratulated Boogerman and Partners as well as Anderson and Anderson International (Architects), Brydens Botswana (Project Managers), Davis Langdon (Quanity Surveyors), Pula Consultants & WSP Structures Africa (Civil Structural Engineers).

So last week’s biggest story in Botswana is the oldest story of corruption in the construction industry (CI). Usually spoken in media reports and allegations, this time apparently The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has landed a big fish red handed with wards of money with intent to corrupt. Reports say China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC)’s … two top managers, Xiaming Wang and Xiaoxiang Qui, were caught red-handed by secret agents last Thursday night as they allegedly bribed the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Carter Morupisi, with a cash sum of P250 000. [Sunday Standard, 03/07/2011] What has rather been troubling me a lot are questions I would like to ask the officer who was to be corrupted, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Carter Morupisi. If given the opportunity, which by the way is close to impos-

Is it really true that the accused Chinese contractors tried to corrupt him? > If so, how did they try to do this and was it the first time this unfortunate event has happened to him? > If so what does he think lead them to believe that he is corruptible? > Was this arrest a part of the plan to get these contractors arrested? If so how did they actually plan it…I mean how did they lead the contractors into the set up? > The P250 000 cash, how was that arrived at if this was a set up..? did it have anything thing to do with the actual work outstanding in the alleged incomplete schools? > In any case can he remind us how these contractors won the tender for the job in the first place? > Looking back at the unfolding events, does he think they should have been awarded the tender at all? Is it also true that some of the officers in his ministry are colluding with consultants to defraud government of millions of public funds? • If not, then would he say the Minister (Jonnie Swartz) was lying when he uttered those words in Parliament…and indeed you back in 2009 when you were quoted saying…. “If you can’t resist corruption, just leave, just apply for retirement,”

Sowa Town Celebrates 20th Anniversary by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect

Sowa Town is located within the Central District of Botswana and lies some 163 km from the north goldmine town of Francistown. The Town is 20 kilometres from the Francistown -Maun Road. The Township is connected to the Francistown-Nata road by a 17 km tarred road, which ends at the Botswana Ash plant at the Sowa spit. The Township is located 17 kilometres from the Soda Ash plant. The Sowa Township was established in 1991 by an act of Parliament, Statutory

All these questions will hopefully be answered from the ongoing investigations and addressed in the courts, but the real answers could only come from the horses mouth. It is such a high stakes case that holds crucial answers that we in the industry need to know. Courts have their way of dealing with such issues, but I would hate to see this go the same way as the other similar case in which one Jamal is accused of corrupting a public officer. The case has so far provided no answers to similar questions but has instead been a tussle between lawyers on matters irrelevant to the answers we desperately need. This industry needs to ascertain once and for all that indeed yes there is corruption in the industry and government parameters have played part in it.

nine hundred and thirty eight plots have been developed with sixty two plots undeveloped. The Sua Pan (which is also known as Sowa Pan) area has an abundance of brine from which soda ash (sodium carbonate) and salt (sodium chloride) are extracted. These minerals form the basis of the local economy. The Botswana Ash mine is the main player in the economic viability of the township. It mines soda ash and sodium chloride. Its products are exported locally and in the neighbouring countries. The latest projection shows that the mine can still exist for about 25 to 30 years. The Township development plans feature strategic diversification initiatives to wean the town from the dying life time of the mine. We will feature these together with discussions and reference to other towns in Botswana under similar situations such as Selibe-Phikwe.

Aerial view of Sowa Town (From Planning RSA 113/Jan 1991)

This week we will feature a special edition focusing on Sowa Town and the celebration of its 20th anniversary. We have interviews from both its founding planners, local authority and will reach out to the Botswana Ash mine.

monitor 23 march 2009. Just how many projects are currently embroiled in suspicious dealings that are under his ministry and what is it that they are doing about it? Obviously corruption in the CI is nothing new even in international markets, but what does he think breeds it here in Botswana? His ministry is reportedly working on blacklisting local contractors, would he say this Chinese contractor should be blacklisted? If so what does he think should happen to public officers found in collusion with contractors to defraud government apart from of course going to jail?

Instrument No.26 of 1991 and governed by Sowa Township Regulations, 1991 under the Township Act (Cap 40:02). Its population stood at 2, 879 according to the 2001 Census and has a projected population growth of up to 3,892 by 2021 (Central Statistics Office). It is the slowest growing of Botswana’s mining towns. In comparison, Jwaneng is projected at 20,624, Orapa at 10,606 and Selibe Phikwe at 59,111. According to its 2003 development plan, a total of

Botash Mine (image:

The main institutions in the township are Local and Central government departments that serve as a linkage between government and the community through the Ministry of Local Government, District Administration and various ministries. There are also parastatals/ private entities in the township including BPC, Water Utilities, BHC and Botash. The origins of the town development and planning are greatly elaborated by its founding designer and town planner, Jan Wareus. Boidus conducted a questionare interview with him and you can read it here. Jan also runs and maintains a live blog on the design, live and origins of Sowa Town on his blog here:

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

International News Page 3

The Pretoria Institute for Solar Decathlon 2011: ButterArchitecture (PIA) to host fly-Roofed WaterShed House “IDEA Design Conference 2011” by Boidus Admin

by Boidus Admin

The Pretoria Institute for Architecture (PIA) will be hosting the IDEA Design Conference in September 2011. This conference is aimed at all design professionals and architects in order to inspire exceptional design and to explore synergies across the different disciplines of design.

THE CONCEPT: This competition seeks to create awareness of how the quality of your life is affected by the architecture around you and to encourage you to take ownership in shaping your future surroundings through a future in architecture. By taking photos, you really ‘see’ the built environment you exist in. REQUIREMENTS: You need to submit three digital photos of your everyday environment as well as a 200 word essay describing how you feel the built environment affects your life. MORE INFORMATION AND ENTRY FORMS CAN BE FOUND ON

NYC Highline Project Completed by Boidus Admin

lon, and placing second in the world, the University of Maryland team is well poised for this year’s intercollegiate competition. Their solar-powered house, called WaterShed, is inspired by the complex, sprawling Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. The team has gone to great lengths to incorporate many features into the home that ensure a healthy hydrological system. These include a butterfly roof that funnels water into a catchment system, a green roof that provides insulation and absorbs stormwater runoff, a green wall, and a vegetable garden. Visit:

Ecosystem-inspired design (

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is an award-winning program that challenges 20 collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The Solar Decathlon: • Educates student participants and the public about the many cost-

saving opportunities presented by clean-energy products Demonstrates to the public the opportunities presented by costeffective houses that combine energy-efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems that are available today Provides participating students with unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s cleanenergy workforce.

After winning the 2007 US Solar Decath-

View of HighLine urban park (

The High Line was originally a raised railway structure constructed in the 1930s, to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan’s streets. 'Friends of the High Line,' is a community-based non-profit group, formed in 1999 when the historic structure was under threat of demolition. 'Friends of the High Line' works in partnership with the City of New York to preserve and maintain the structure as an elevated public park. The design of the new urban park features an integrated landscape, designed

by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations, with architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings. Fixed and movable seating, lighting, and special features are also included in the park.

WaterShed sectional perspective (

WaterShed conceptual diagrams (

The first phase of the park opened in June 2009, and the second and final phase opened June 2011, doubling the park’s length and connecting three neighborhoods along the West Side . Fore more information visit:

“Building Botswana” Conference and Exhibition: Sept 2011 by Boidus Admin

The Association of Botswana Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (ABCON) in partnership with Tshipidi Badiri Builders Association (TTBA) are hosting Building Botswana expo and conference on the 15-17 of September at the Fairground complex in Gaborone. This year’s event will focus on two themes: ‘Using standardization to improve profitability in contracts, materials, and hand-over’s’ and 'how contractors can benefit from Government moves to smaller contracts through reservation, nomination, and focus on

maintanenance.' It is designed to provide building contractors, engineers, architects and related services businesses with helpful information. The Department of Building and Engineering Service (DBES) will be opening a major initiative to all building industry members to alleviate the participation of small and medium contractors in Government projects as well as improving their quality. Furthermore, Building Botswana will be held for the first time this year in conjunction with the award of Best Builder

in Botswana prize which is sponsored by PPC Cement Botswana. The award ceremony will be held on the evening of 16 September. This year’s conference and exhibition maintains and broadens the tradition of service to the construction industry.

Universal Plaza currently under construction in Gaborone CBD

An important feature of the event will be the opportunity for business to be done in a variety of settings in the form of a demonstration. The exhibitions will

focuses on new international suppliers of materials and services on the Botswana market.

The executive director of ABCON Nic Van Rensburg praised the event as one of its kind for all building industry professionals.

The programme will attract most buildings, design, and engineering and related services firms in the nation. It will also be a chance for suppliers of building materials to showcase their products and sell themselves to the public. At least 100 exhibitors from all the industry are expected to attend the event as well as domestic and international suppliers.

He said the event will be the first of its kind because it has special and exciting new features like ABCON joining with the major firm PPC as the major sponsor of the event in conjunction with its Number 1 Builder in Botswana competition. Furthermore the exhibitors will not only include local services and materials suppliers but international suppliers as well.

Editorials Page 4

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

‘Redevelopment’ of Extension 2- Gaborone City Council: Part 2 by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect The re-building of the City of Gaborone needs some vision. This City needs to think big, not in a literal sense, but in ambition. It needs courageous professionals in the built environment both in the private sector, but more importantly at the Government parameters. It needs people who can make a case for it to be better. The Gaborone City Council’s envisioned ‘redevelopment of extension 2’ as currently discussed provides such a golden opportunity, but not in its current form, certainly not in the manner in which it is being undertaken, and not by the people currently attempting it. This city’s problems, most notably in the main mall, encompass infrastructural, operational and social issues. The centre city needs real streets, it needs functioning vibrant squares and public places, it needs night life, it needs a face, and one could say this city needs a ‘soul’. Solving Infrastructural problems alone is a technical issue which in itself is a small part of the bigger component of what should be a bold ‘Urban Regeneration/ Renewal program’. Therefore as I outlined last week, the GCC’s approach will fall far too short of getting anywhere near resolving the above. An Urban Regeneration/Renewal Strategy: A holistic urban regeneration strategy needs to be developed for the city in general, from which special attention would be put on the renewal of Gaborone’s urban inner core, Main Mall. The development guidelines for such a renewal have already been suggested on current Revised Gaborone City Development Plan (1997-2021).

Who Needs to Undertake this Regeneration? Throughout history, cities have gone through processes similar to the one we are in now. By nature cities, especially city centres have always gone under regeneration or renewal process at some point, and it would do us good to study how others have undergone such developments before. As far back as 1852 when Georges-Eugène Haussmann was commissioned by Napoleon III to “modernize” Paris it was hoped that in hiring Haussmann, Paris could be moulded into a city with safer streets, better housing, more sanitary, hospitable, shopperfriendly communities, better traffic flow…and of course there were other ultra military motives as well. But what is clear is that Haussmann was hired with a clear political commitment to implementation. Therefore we need to deliberately set up a task force or a ‘Commission for the Urban Renewal of Gaborone City’ to oversee a regeneration strategy of Gaborone, its implementation, monitoring, timeline and post implementation review. This ‘Commission’ will be empowered and mandated to undertake the regeneration by law if necessary. In other cities such as New York City and the City of Canberra, legislation was provided to enable a comprehensive regeneration process. This empowerment was backed by political leadership and which was crucial to underscore the boldness of the process. This commission will have to be of a complex make up as well, encompassing partnerships from public apparatus,

Aerial view of Extension 2 undergoing regeneration

the private sector, NGO’s, academic institutions and local communities who would be principle stakeholders. The commission would, amongst other things, develop an urban regeneration governance strategy. Basis of this renewal strategy will need to critically address the following: Redefining the Concept of What our City of Gaborone is/should be: It is clear by now that the original remnants of the Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City concept which the original Gaborone Plan failed, not only here but even in the UK where it was extensively tested (one thinks of Welwyn Garden City), and in other countries such as Australia. Therefore a revisit of what the renewed Gaborone City should be needs to be debated and investigated. It is not enough to just implement mixed use and densification of land habitation if there is no underlying theme of what we intend to create by doing such. Pragmatic Approach to a Renewal Strategy: Urbanists are increasingly agreeing that the role of the MASTERPLAN is no longer effective on its own as a development guiding document. This is for the simple reason that no one person is in charge of city control any more. No sin-

gle authority has one logic voice, or time to decree or coordinate comprehensive changes. Therefore a modern urban renewal strategy will need to be based on pragmatism anchored on continuous long term vision for sustainable urban development and shared responsibility between private, public and other city stakeholders. Funding and Urban Regeneration: As it is the GCC does not have the funding profile nor would it be able to put one together with the current scope of this redevelopment exercise. The financial resources for funding the urban regeneration programme must be central to the discussion as a factor that will contribute to the viability of programmes and their effectiveness. Producing guideline strategic documents alone would be an expensive process that needs the ‘Commission’ to have established resources to ensure its success. In other cities such regeneration processes are funded from various Urban Development Funds (UDFs); For example, in the UK the lottery funds are apportioned to assist in regenerating inner city spaces, and in Spain, Regional Control government agencies provide sponsors to local authorities to support inner city regeneration. In fact, the European Union provides funding

Architecture & Democracy

by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect

Berlin Parliament []

Governments since the evolution of institutionalized governing have always felt the urge to build symbolic structures of power. In Rome, the first Emperor is said to have found Rome ‘in bricks and left it in marble’. Augustus later built some of the magnificent temples through the Roman Empire during his reign. Centuries later the church of Hagia Sophia was built by Justinian Constantinople. In Africa, earlier civilizations of the Egyptian dynasties created most of the current wonders of the world to symbolize their rule and superiority and invoke mythology and their cognac believes. The Egyptians work and their Greek counterparts are the most visual existing relics of this direct relationship between rulers, governments and building of monumental structures. In all these historic extracts, governments have of course always built to impress/oppress those it rules and to

announce dominance over subjects in case of empirical times. Rome built administration structures throughout its colonies across Europe to instil its rule and dominance. Later we see this phenomena repeated by the Moors of Spain and their magnificent churches and mosques during their reign in Spain. In the nineteen century, nothing changed much. Britain and colonial wealth built the Gothic/Tudor Houses of Parliament (by Barry and Pugin, completed 1868), not to represent all its society, but supposedly to; ‘show how British democratic institutions were descended from the idealised and free society of medieval yeoman and aristocrats, with no interference from the women and the poor and slaves’. Built along the main river transport node through London, the British parliament was the absolute symbol of British dominance and conquering of new world’s emblem.

to EU cities for regeneration through its Cultural Capital fund. In Botswana, there is a need to establish an Urban Development Fund to help our cities and towns as they undergo an inevitable process of change and this could also be a SADC supported initiative too. In conclusion it seems clear that Botswana quite urgently needs to establish an independent local development agency to implement specific urban projects. This will include all key stakeholders as outlined above and will be responsible for project management and delivery, inward investment, funding and project financing, and most importantly, an overriding vision for its cities and towns. Until then, ambitions such as that currently being undertaken by the GCC will always fall short of a truly successful urban redevelopment.

Mixed Use Diagram balance diagram

In Germany, Paul Wallot, commissioned to design the German Reichstag, is said to have despaired of his task: he had to create a symbol of German and German Parlimentarianisim, when there was no model for either and little consensus about what they meant.’[1] This perhaps opens a little window into the difficulty designers are faced with when tasked by governments who are not practicing what they want their government buildings to symbolize. This had over years led rulers of especially dictatorship authorities to become defector designers of their idealised cities of power. Still in Germany, Hitler later restored the Reichstag and went on to personally design cities and buildings for his vision of new Germany. The Olympiastadion, Berlin stadium, where in 1936 Jesse Owen was forcibly humiliated to race a horse to Hitler’s amusement, show of absolute dominance and contempt for what he termed inferior race demonstrated his twisted "Aryan racial superiority" madness. Elsewhere, the brave new North America’s went for the classical Baroque style at ‘The Capitol’ to symbolize democracy and power, but it was still democracy for the males and totally excluding the women and slaves. The American model somehow had close resemblance to what the Romans had used centuries before. Today the American parliament building is credited as where the coun>>> CONTINUED PAGE 05

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Editorial / Guest Column Page 5

Architecture & Democracy

GUEST COLUMN T h e P l i g h t o f Gaborone North Residents Have your say... Submit essays to

>>> FROM PAGE 04

tries founding fathers freed slaves and made America ‘the land of the free’ but in its conception, the Capitol building was to symbolize completely different notions with absolute disregard for the poor, oppressed and its great women. Modern democracies have reinvented and created new ways of housing their government’s ideals. The obsession of yester year’s leaders and governments with dominance has been taken over by wealthy private corporations and individuals who now control and even fund governments. Because these wealthy corporations operate world wide, they have embraced the concept of globalization and their muscle is reflected in the structures they build. In emerging economies where national resources are controlled by the ruling families/groups, like for example the Middle East, the vivacious circle of building to symbolize power (challenge to power) and to surpass the so called developed nations is at its most frenzied. In Dubai, State sponsored Financial Centres and new lands are being constructed at sea (Palm Islands) in the most unprecedented show of raw financial power. In the modern days of globalized resource supply, those with what the world needs most are powerful by default. Building structures are used to illustrate their new found financial/resource power and dominance rather than conquer as it was in the 19th Century. New experiments in building Parliaments and government institutions with links to its people begun perhaps in Helsinki, Finland in the ealy 1940’s when Alvar Alto built the Saynatsalo. The Saynatsalo’s ideal relationship between people, place/nature and politics was achieved at a small township scale. Built to serve a small regional government, here was a building unconcerned with showing any of the previous symbols of power and dominance, but rather with the relationship of how people can govern themselves in a place and still be close to nature. In 1998 when the Enric Miralles’s Scottish Parliament was completed, a truly humble and unpretentious parliament vision was realised. In his competition submission for the building, Mirallies asserted that: ‘The parliament sits on the land. We have the feeling that the building should be the land. To carve in the land the form of gathering people together.’[2] This clear shift in government and relation to its peoples has influenced many other new government structures across the world, with Australia’s Parliament House, Canberra, 1988 by Romaldo Giurgola one such clear example of the shift from naked show of power and dominance to; to be freely open to the public, and the sweeping lawns leading up to the entrances were intended to symbolise this. While other countries have allowed these previous dictatorship associated buildings to attain ‘national heritage’ status anew, others have chosen to demolish them and make way for modern buildings with better relations to the people. For example: Albanian government wants to tear down one of the capital's main communist-era landmarks with the Albanian International Centre of Culture, popularly known as

by Kagiso Tshukudu

Scottish Parliament Plan Diagram


"the Pyramid" which was built by the communist strongman, Enver Hoxha to commemorate his rule. In Africa, many countries after independence were faced with these tasks of nation building and creation of new nations symbols. Although across much of Africa, such as Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Mozambique and others inherited structures from their colonial powers, others such as Botswana created new templates for their democracies. In these areas where the idea of democracies was at its infancy, builders of these parliament buildings had little local presidents to learn from. It is this spirit that for example when the Botswana National Assembly building was conceived, its original designers where said to have travelled both to Australia to study its new Capital city, Canberra and also new cities in Brazil and emerging nations in Latin America. Botswana’s new challenge was not only in creating its symbol for its new democracy but to actually create a new capital city from scratch, from where there previously was a bush. This audacious challenge was met and within 3 years a new parliament building was sitting at the crown of a new democracy within a new city. In S. Grant’s essay ‘Creating a City form Scratch’, he notes how: ….the new Gaborone could not exist without water. This meant that the funding for a new dam had to be quickly secured from London, that it had to be constructed in record time and that the assistance of a beneficent modimo would be needed to ensure that decent rains would fill it… But the rain did come, being preceded by the rough weather that marked Independence Day, and it kept coming so that, incredibly, the new dam massively overflowed and gouged out a dramatic new channel for itself. When God and nature combined with man to ensure that the new Gaborone could emerge from the empty bush, the auguries for the future had to be very good. Is that why diamonds were found so soon afterwards? [1] Ladd Brian, The Ghost of Berlin, confronting German history in urban landscape, University of Chicago press, Chicago and London, 1997, pg 86. [2] El Croquis, 100-101, Enric Miralles+Benedetta Tagliabue, 2000, pp 144-145

Gaborone Parliament Building

Gaborone Development Plan; Gaborone North

A few weeks ago I read a story in the Mmegi newspaper of 13 April 2011with the headline “GCC spends millions servicing private land”. My fascination with the article was not about the accusation contained therein, but about the continuing confusion regarding government policy towards provision of infrastructure services to Gaborone north residential neighbourhood, which is within the boundaries of Gaborone city planning area. It is fair to accept that our government has a long standing policy that freehold land does not receive infrastructure services reticulation such as water, roads, power and sewer at government cost. In fact given that originally Gaborone north was made up of privately owned farms with very sparse human population per square area, one can appreciate that government resources would have been better spent in more populated areas. However over the past decades, Gaborone north has experienced an incredibly high rate of change of land use from agriculture to residential use due to obvious reasons of residential land shortage around the capital city. In fact the Gaborone City Council (GCC) prepared the Gaborone North Structure Plan to enable an efficient framework through which change of land use could be done in an orderly manner to allow for efficient reticulation of infrastructure services. The structure plan was a commendable step by GCC in recognising that the whole of Gaborone north was changing its land use and there was a need to plan for the future before the situation gets out of hand. All this change of use happened under the watch of GCC and government. The original land owners had to submit applications for planning permission and subdivision to the authorities. The authorities were not only encouraging change of use but it is also government policy that residential plots be made smaller approximately (600-800sqm) in order to accommodate more residents per square area and to also accommodate low income group of citizens who cannot afford much bigger plots. It is fair to say GCC and Government orchestrated a plan to turn Gaborone north into an intensely developed and populated residential neighbourhood. Having given this brief background, it is quite astonishing that government does not want to take responsibility or at least be a partner in providing services to Gaborone north. The minister of Lands and Housing was heard on a radio talk show recently saying government will not service Gaborone North because the original land owners should have serviced the plots before selling them. The minister went on to say Gaborone North is not a priority and his ministry will focus on more deserving areas. Now, I have a big problem with that attitude and I outline my rationale below: 1. If government believes that original land owners should have serviced the plots before selling, why was that not a requirement before planning permission was granted to subdivide and sell? When did government decide that land owners should service before selling and what measures

were put in place to enforce that decision? This question is relevant because as recent as last year there continues to be new subdivisions that get approved without demanding service provision upfront. 2. It is a big worry to have GCC and government enabling thousands of people to buy plots and reside at Gaborone North without commitment to assist them with managing waste, provision of clean water etc. To have thousands of people concentrated in one area, each household having a septic tank and soakaway, drinking unsafe water from numerous unreliable sources and no collective household waste management is a ticking time bomb with grave consequences to our health and environment. Do we want to react to an outbreak of waterborne disease to appreciate the gravity of the situation? And for all of this to be allowed to happen in our capital city, in this era, is an unforgivable act of negligence and very appalling planning on the part of our leaders. Talk about an authority that creates an urban squalor and then saying there is nothing they can do to help! The mess that is Gaborone north was not self inflicted by residents but is a creation of government and GCC. 3. In their defence GCC or government will likely say it is ‘against their policy’ to service freehold land. That kind of bureaucratic jargon does not help the thousands of citizens who now find themselves in a desperate situation and let down by their leaders. Policies are not cast in stone and can be reviewed by a progressive authority that responds to current circumstances and unique situations. I hope the Member of Parliament and Councillor responsible for Gaborone north (I wish their constituents knew them) will take up this challenge on behalf of the residents. 4. Recently there was a consultant conducting survey of properties in Gaborone north for purposes of enrolment with GCC for payments of council rates. One wonders what the residents will be paying for if the policy is not to service the area? Related to that, there is an ongoing sewer reticulation project that covers Gaborone north, why was this project commissioned if the policy is that the area should not be serviced?. There is also the occasional grading of the main access road into Gaborone north which seem to have been discontinued after we read in the Mmegi article that GCC deputy Clerk apparently “apologised” to GCC councillors for having provided such services to Gaborone north. The above paints a picture of a confused situation that needs urgent attention and direction. Residents of Gaborone north are citizens of this country who have chosen to spend their hard earned money buying land from private land owners instead of waiting for free plots from government. Such an initiative should be encouraged and supported by government policy to recognise private investors who do their bit to build this city. I submit that government has to intervene now and create an enabling environment that integrates Gaborone north into the areas of jurisdiction for GCC. Any delay or self defence will only postpone the problem with unbearable environmental and financial cost in the future and that will be a shame indeed.

Buildings Page 6

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Time Projects Prime Plaza coming to the CBD by Boidus Admin / Images and text © Time Projects >>> FROM PAGE 01

It also provides communal support services such as coffee shops, lunch facilities, breakaway areas as well as parking for tenants and visitors on site. Furthermore to ensure that there will be well maintained pause areas for staff, the outside of the building has a low rise density which provide adequate space on the site for hard and soft landscaping and street furniture.

BUILDING 1 - Construction was started in October 2010, with a projected completion date of December 2011. The building has wings of +/- 500sqm and a total lettable floor area of 2372sqm. Accomodation available in the building is: Offices 2372sqm Archive Stores 25sqm Basement Parking 54 Bays Open Bays 45 Bays

Locality Plan in Gaborone CBD

BUILDING 2 - Construction is planned to start October 2011, with a completion date of December 2012, but if a tenant is secured earlier, construction will start immediately. Accomodation available in the building is: Offices 6014sqm Archive Stores 25sqm Basement Parking 139 Bays Open Bays 85 Bays

Property Managers: Time Projects Architects: Paul Munnik Architects Quantity Surveyors: MLC Quantity Surveyors Structural Engineers: ADA Consulting Engineers Electrical&Mechanical Engineers: A.R Edwards & Associates Contractor: Red East Constructions

Sebele Shopping Centre Officially Opens to the Public by Esther Amogelang

Sebele Centre, a project by Time Projects for Prime Time Holding, was launched recently at Sebele where many people walked away with gifts, music and shopping experiences with lower prices. The mall is situated near the Gaborone City Council Fire Station along western bypass Francistown road. The Director of Prime Time Holdings, Sandy Kelly mentioned in his welcoming remarks that the Centre is their largest single asset and their first development project. 'The property will enhance their projects portfolio and while funded wholly by debt they believe that it is a “positive debt” which means that the return will be greater than the cost of funding' he said. With over 30 convenient shops and a huge parking space, the mall has a double storey block with various shops on the ground and others on the first floor. Some of the shops include Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Décor, Pep Store, ATM’s, Chinese and Japanese restaurant, furniture shops, and fashion and jewellery among others. When contacted for comment one of the Director of Time Project said the building is clean, fresh, coloured making it appealing to the shoppers.

get a job,” said one girl at the mall. Mukwa Interiors, a company owned by Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) was also among furniture shops opened at Sebele Centre offering a wide range of furniture’s like televisions, Home theatres, and cameras. According to a shop assistant at Mukwa Interiors they will be having a discount until end of July and a raffle draw on all purchases until the end of July. The centre’s tenant mix was carefully planned to include specific convenient and lifestyle shopping choices. “One thing that we could say about the tenant mix is that we have tried to take the “convenience centre to a new level” commented Mr. Marlin from Time Projects. Meanwhile shoppers can look forward to the opening of Café Mint and Eastern Crescent next week and the much anticipated Grand Open of the Woolworths’ store on the 22nd of July. Phase two will be opening on August, and it will provide additional shops in the form of Maboloa, Hugo Interiors and Toy Joy. A few weeks after the launch, the mall looked promising, and many tenants at the Center are meeting shopper’s convenient needs.

“With its unique, simple L-shaped it’s open to the road and parking,” he said. Many attendees who were seen touring the mall were excited and interested in shopping there and even said it’s an opportunity for creating new jobs to most of them. “I was able to submit my application and curriculum vitae and they promised to get back to me, hopefully I will able to

Completed Sebele Centre (

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Metlhaetsile Estate Now Selling by Boidus Admin / Image © Mhago Properties

Buildings Page 7

Announcing the selling of luxurious townhouses by Mhago Properties. We are currently developing for outright sale in Block 6 a 3.8 hectors of serviced land that is going to be landscaped with breath taking luxurious 48 single family residential houses and astonishing 22 three bedroom townhouses. All these dwelling units will be fitted and finished with the latest contemporary and modern fittings and finishes. The development will be enclosed with one common perimeter walling, a gate house and guards for your security.

Aerial view of Metlhaetsile Estate (

Masa Centre to Open Oct. 2011 by Boidus Admin

For more information on available town houses and application forms, visit:

Masa Centre, operated by Holiday Inn, is well underway in Gaborone’s CBD, and due to open in October 2011. Available office spaces at MASA Centre as follows: 1st Floor Offices: A - 314sqm B - 344sqm C - 331.42sqm 2nd Floor Offices: B&G - 344.37sqm C&F - 331.42sqm H - 341.18sqm

Masa Centre currently under construction in Gaborone CBD

Proposed World Trade Centre Project by Arctez by Boidus Admin / Images © Arctez

3rd Floor Offices: A&D- 229.10sqm + a terrace on the 4th floor measuring approximately 100sqm at P40/sqm

“World Trade Centre branded facilities are landmarks in the regions that they serve. They are the symbol of the international connectedness and competitiveness of a community. A world trade centre building is a facility with a purpose. It is also a place where special things happen. It is a prestigious address that means international business.” This World Trade Centre Proposal by Arctez incorporates; 36 storey’s of mixed use program including hotels, offices, apartments and a convention centre, location within Gaborone’s new CBD, panoramic views of the city, and green design approaches.

Aerial view of Arctez WTC tower proposal

Arctez focus on design has always been the attainment of a balance between aesthetic values, the functionality of the building and application of appropriate sustainable design solutions.

Images of the completed estates (

Advertising Page 8

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RDC Properties has various properties that include Tholo Office Park, Standard House, MASA Centre and ISALO Rock Lodge in Madagascar.

RDC Properties are managed by Property and Asset Management Limited managers; therefore for more information about office spaces available please call any of the property managers at +267 3914548.

Tholo Office Park at Fairgrounds - A Grade office block in ditioned, mature & well landscaped garden with ample floor and 2nd floor each measuring 162sqm @ P13 770, 1

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

a prestigious & well maintained office park. Fully air-con& secure parking. Three office suites available on the 1st 164sqm@ P13940, and 235sqm@19 975. All VAT exclusive.

Advertising Page 9

MASA Centre is currently our most exciting project thus so far. It will have the first 3D cinema in Botswana, up class restaurants, Holiday Inn Hotel, all types of shops and offices all in one complex.

We have available office spaces at MASA Centre as follows: 1st Floor Offices: A - 314sqm B - 344sqm C - 331.42sqm

2nd Floor Offices: B&G - 344.37sqm C&F - 331.42sqm H - 341.18sqm

3rd Floor Offices:

A&D- 229.10sqm + a terrace on the 4th floor measuring approximately 100sqm at P40/sqm

Feature Project Page 10

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Bridgetown Resort: “The Gateway to an Adventurer’s Paradise” Images and Text © Bridgetown Resort

Botswana. It will easily connect people with Victoria Falls – either on the Zambian or Zimbabwean side and at the same time offer some boat drives to Katima Mulilo on the Namibian side. “We have been in negotiations with tour operators on the Zimbabwean side and they are keen to have our guests go there and have an experience of what they offer during the day. Hence, we will immediately introduce a shuttle between Bridgetown and Livingstone on the Zambian side,” says Patrick Balopi head of Bridgetown. Further, Bridgetown is expected to offer an assortment of leisure activities including an amusement park, restaurant, boat houses and a deck —- for those who own

small boats and those interested in taking some boat drives along the Chobe river. The company has purchased some farms that are going to be turned into some game park where guests will be entertained with night game drives and bush braai. The developments are expected to be part of the larger picture which Kasane is planning to undertake with the building of the Kazungula bridge that is aimed at bolstering trade and commerce across the Southern African Development Community ( SADC) region and the expansion of the Airport. The resort town has the potential of linking with some of the regional capitals such as Livingstone, Harare, Johannesburg and Cape Town through air in a bid to strengthen position within the region. So far, it has links with Lusaka following the decision of Air Botswana to fly Gaborone- Lusaka through the resort town.

>>> FROM PAGE 01

Bridgetown, the emerging tourism outfit geared to connect its visitors to three other countries bordering Botswana in the north, is aiming to open its subscription to retail investors thanks to its ensuing partnership with Barclays Bank. Bridgetown owns a piece of land of sixand-a-half hectars strike length along the banks of the Chobe river—in the resort town of Kasane —that has been visited by world renowned celebrities such as former U.S President, Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Taylor owing to the beauty of the wilderness and Safari. The first phase of the project is scheduled for completion by September this year and that will entail 20 cabana units. "It is going to be prestine and beautiful,: says Colin Willis, project manager of the multimillion pula Bridgetown Resort.

“We are really going to make it an up market project.” The Bridgetown project provides Batswana with an opportunity to own holiday houses in one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. The Bridgetown project seeks to bring to the ordinary citizen of Botswana an opportunity to buy into an affordable lifetime holiday destination. A place where one can relax, share the natural beauty of the Botswana wilderness, experience our heritage, and own a piece of history. The apartment will be sectional titled and thereafter further subdivided into single undivided shares. These shares will then be made available to the public for sale and purchase through a va-

riety of affordable financial packages designed to allow Batswana the opportunity to participate in the project. They can either go for an outright purchase at P 2.5 million and have an option of keeping the keys or enter through a P 55,000 subscription that will most likely see their property managed under the pool arrangement. Under the pool arrangement the property will be given to a professional property management company that will among other things liase with international tourism marketing companies for bookings and in turn share profits with investors at the end of the financial year. Located near where the Kazungula bridge is to be erected Bridgetown is bound to give its visitors a rare opportunity in terms of tourism experience in

Type E Cabana, rendering and details

Construction Photos: February 2011


value for your money IN YOUR INVESTMENT

Materials and their Properties

by Otsisitswe Fedrick Semarite, Managing Director, Nature Studios We would like to welcome our readers to the materials and their properties column which will focus on materials used in construction throughout Botswana. It is here that we shall introduce how these materials are used in daily construction projects, availability within Botswana and discuss the structural/technical aspects of such materials. It is also here that we shall discuss issues such as environmental aspects and sustainability of materials used in construction throughout Botswana. The column will provide designers, those who own buildings or proposed buildings, and those who build the opportunity to evaluate and select the appropriate materials for their construction projects. How your proposal is going to be erected, what materials are going to be used, where to get this materials and the construction budget (total building costs) are some of the issues a client will normally discuss with his/her architect. The behavior and performance of buildings materials when used in different types of construction differs. You as the client need to ensure that from the drawing board in your architect’s office to actual erection of your proposal by your contractor, clear knowledge of any material to be used, how it is going to be used, and cost implications are items which are fully addressed well in time to ensure value for your money in your investment.

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Education Page 11

Architecture School Experience: Architecture Student Congress Part 2 / Graduate Degree by Boidus Admin

by Bridget T. MacKean, Master of Arts, Bachelor of Architecture

Architectural Association, Bedford Square, London, UK

Many people choose to work for a few years before attending graduate school, while others proceed directly after completing their undergraduate studies. For me, the 5th year of architecture school (thesis year) left me strangely energized, restless, and eager for the next challenge. Despite advise from my thesis advisor indicating that it would be better to wait a year or two before heading off (which I later found to be exceptional advise), 2 months after graduation I found myself on a plane to London, England, to attend the famous AA Graduate School. Coming straight from an architecture degree, I was ready for the long hours, intensity of work, and demanding schedule ahead; what I wasn’t ready for was the difference in attitude. All of my tutors worked full-time in a firm outside of teaching, so their time was precious, and they didn’t put up with unpreparedness or excuses. It was up to us to get the most out of the program and the school, because no one had time to hold your hand. We were in actual fact, ‘matured university students.’ The ages of my classmates ranged from 23-49, and their backgrounds included architecture, landscape architecture, environmental studies, mechanical engineering, and several others. Interestingly, from the 12 students in our program, we represented 9 different countries, revealing 9 very different ways to approach a design project. This spectrum of backgrounds provided for some very interesting tactics in research, problem solving, and design techniques. I found myself using my classmates as alternative resources, learning what I could and sharing opinions regarding each other's work. The benefits were felt by all of us as we worked simultaneously as a team and as competitive individuals. As a course specializing in Landscape Ur-

banism research was intense, but more importantly, the organization, comprehension, and representation of that research was essential; get that wrong and the end design product stood for some enormous scrutiny. This shift of priority was challenging, but it was exactly why I chose this course in particular. The exciting part about graduate school was learning new techniques; design was inherently built into all of our backgrounds, but techniques such as parametric modeling were something new to us, and we were eager to grasp it. Looking back, I can understand my thesis advisor’s advise to work before heading off to graduate school. Being just 12 months long, the course was jam-packed with deadlines, and the immensity of work required patience, motivation, and most important, endurance. For the first 6 months I found myself able to work faster and for longer hours in comparison to those classmates who had been out in the field working for a few years. But by 12 months, I found that I did not have the stamina they had. I was exhausted, and my lack of knowledge in efficiency and prioritizing caught up with me. After graduating, I happily retreated to my bed for 2 weeks to recover.

WHEN: 18-23 September 2011 WHERE: Port Elizabeth

Issues that will be explored include: Sustainability as a way of living. How do lifestyles affect the environment? How can we develop and manage the way that we live so that we reduce our impact on the planet? What is consumption and what is its impact? What are the implications for Architecture? Architecture and sustainable cities. Is the expanded urban region sustainable?

Architecture, culture and society. What is the philosophical context of sustainable Architecture? How will our culture develop to embrace sustainability? What are the social implications and how do they influence Architecture? For more information visit:

Architecture Student Sustainable Design Competition 2011

by Boidus Admin

When I started working at the prestigious firm of Foster+Partners in London after graduation, I quickly discovered those essential professional skills that I missed in graduate school. Although slightly deflated by this realization, I still had no regrets about my decisions. At the end of the day I had been fortunate to meet and interact with some amazingly talented individuals, and it was an unforgettable 12 months of my life.

The world’s population is increasingly moving towards urban environments. This is especially true in Africa. But how can we use design to imagine better African cities and urban systems?

Landscape Urbanism End-of-the-Year Exhibition, 2006

Are the forms of development that characterise our metropoles contributing to excessive consumption? How can Architects improve the form of our cities and the quality of life within them?

The 5th Annual C&CI Sustainable Design Competition is looking for a design intervention using concrete or cementitious products that provides insight and solutions to real world challenges of the theme of FUTURE AFRICAN CITY.

Over and above a sustainable design investigation, students are encouraged to resolve an element of their investigation. This resolution will illustrate the achievement of a sustainable solution containing a Portland cement-based application. The purpose of the competition is to promote the innovative use of concrete and the use of concrete in providing sustainable environments; to stimulate fresh thinking that results in original and inventive design proposals; to raise awareness of the critical built environment issues; and to question the relevancy of existing typologies and sustainability strategies in dealing with the built/ unbuilt/ wasted context. Deadline and Submissions > Submission of names of participants 29 Nov2011 > Submission of nominated entries to c&ci offices 29 Feb 2012 > Exhibition and announcement of winners at 2012 ASCo & AzA2012 conference. For more information visit:

Student Portfolio: Princeton University School of Architecture

work by Pulane Mpotokwane, Princeton University School of Architecture

Your questions answered: HOW MANY YEARS DOES IT TAKE TO STUDY ARCHITECTURE? A typical Professional Degree is 5 years; normally the final year is an opportunity for students to do a design thesis, where they can develop their own project briefs based on their knowledge, understanding, and opinions on architecture. WHAT DO I NEED TO HAVE DONE TO BE ABLE TO STUDY ARCHITECTURE? Generally various schools require different backgrounds, but common to most are: art (of some sort), mathematics, physics. Nowadays many schools require the submission of a portfolio in addition to the application. WHICH ARE THE BEST SCHOOLS TO STUDY ARCHITECTURE? There is only one school in Botswana that offers a professional degree program in Architecture, University of Botswana. Abroad, there are several well-established prestigious schools in South Africa, USA, UK, Australia, Canada, Scandanavia, and others. The choices are plenty, it just takes research to find the best fit for you. The best place to start is:

Student Experiences:

STUDENT: Pulane SCHOOL: Princeton University, USA I received my Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture from the Princeton University School of Architecture. Our program embraced the eclectic nature of the profession and how architects must combine different disciplines – design, construction, history, psychology, art – to create functional and interesting living and working spaces. It was a highly conceptual course where research, process and ideas were developed within a broader urban, social and environmental context.

Housing / Property Page 12

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Government Has Unfair Advantage in Housing Market

by H. Killion Mokwete, ARB Registered Architect, RIBA Chartered Architect

BHC Flats in Gaborone

The sentiment is always that government should provide housing for its citizens and that housing is a human right under the United Nations Human Rights (Article 25). I have once before argued for government to align some of its adhoc housing activities toward providing citi-

zens with much needed affordable housing. But in actual fact maybe it is not the business of government or in the country’s interest for the government to be trading in the housing market. Housing markets world wide are very lucrative industries where big monies can be made

Overview of the Housing Finance Sector in Botswana by Lex von Rudloff

FinMark Trust (REPORT EXTRACT) October 2007 The Commercial Bank Sector comprises Barclays Bank of Botswana, Standard Chartered Bank Botswana, First National Bank of Botswana, Stanbic Bank, Bank Gaborone and Bank of Baroda (Botswana), the last two being relatively recent entrants into the Botswana market. As at the end of 2006, the shares of banking sector assets held by Barclays, Standard Chartered and FNB were 33%, 27% and 24% respectively, with most of the remaining 17% held by Stanbic. Other new comers include; Bank ABC and Capital Bank. [Italics added by Boidus Admin] In addition there are a number of government or quasi-government-owned financial institutions, including the Botswana Savings Bank (BSB), the Botswana Building Society (BBS), the National Development Bank (NDB), the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), and the Citizen Entrepreneurial Development Agency (CEDA), which have specific, development-oriented objectives within the financial sector. The total assets of the state-owned financial institutions were approximately P5 billion as at December 2006, compared to some P29 billion for the commercial banks. Total Deposits: Total deposits held by

commercial banks increased by P9.85bn ($1.6bn) (75.4%) from P13.065bn ($2.124bn) in December 2005 to P22.9bn ($3.72bn) in December 2006. This very significant increase was due mainly to the fact that from mid-2006 Bank of Botswana Certificates (BoBCs) was no longer available to investors other than commercial banks, with the result that assets of Pension and Provident funds which had previously been invested in BoBCs were diverted and invested in commercial banks. Credit Growth: Total lending by commercial banks totalled P10 587 million at the end of 2006, an increase of 18.8% over the year. The growth rate is above the Bank of Botswana credit growth target range for 2007 of 11-14%. Annual growth in credit to the household sector rose 1.1% to 17.6% from 16.7% and the share of credit to households was 57.5% in December 2006. Year-onyear, property loans from commercial banks to households rose by 22.5% in the year December 2006, and accounted for 23.6% of all lending to households. There has been a shift in the structure of bank lending to households, with property loans accounting for an increasing share. Whereas in the past Batswana appeared to be keener on borrowing for the purchase of motor vehicles than for

and citizen-wealth created. My argument for government not to trade in the housing market is that: Government is an unfair competitor in many ways as currently witnessed by the government’s housing agents such as BHC, BDC and others. Government is an all powerful competitor whom private developers and individual house owners cannot compete with. Starting right from acquisition of land, local developers cannot compete fairly with government in the acquiring of state owned land. Government has unfair privy to prime land before any other developer can access that information and even then, government adjudicates to give its own arms such as BHC and BDC prime land at the expense of private developers. Examples of prime land in possession of BHC are plenty, from Gaborone’s suburbs to villages of Mahalapye and others. Government also has unfair advantage in the servicing of land on which it later trades on, while all other local developers have to queue for these same services such as water

the purchase of property, this may no longer be the case. As recently as 2002, banks lent twice as much to households for the purchase of motor vehicles as for the purchase of residential property. By the end of 2006, however, the proportions were reversed, with property lending amounting to nearly double the level of vehicle lending. As these figures demonstrate, the banks are highly liquid, with a significant excess of deposits over loans; the rapid expansion of the deposit base in 2006 led the loan-to-deposit ratio to fall below 50%. This excess liquidity is generally held in the form of BoBCs, an instrument introduced by the Bank of Botswana to absorb liquidity, facilitate control of interest rates and implement monetary policy. A high level of excess liquidity means that the banks have considerable capacity to increase lending where opportunities arise, although these have to offer a risk-adjusted return that exceeds the interest rate paid on (risk-free) BoBCs. The possible expansion of housing finance provision by the banks is not, at this stage, limited by the availability of financial resources within the banking system. Nevertheless, the BoB’s monetary policy aims to restrict the rate of credit growth in order to prevent the emergence of excessive domestic demand pressures that might lead to higher inflation. Courtesy: FinMark Trust; ‘Overview of the housing finance sector in Botswana, commissioned by the FinMark Trust’

and power. Where it has to buy land from private owners, government has an immense buying power that private buyers cannot match. This is clearly demonstrated in the amount of free hold land that government holds at the Phakalane Estates, the size of which cannot be easily matched by most private developers. The housing market in Botswana is currently ripe and BHC, a government housing developer, is enjoying a lion’s share of it. BHC’s housing prices, which currently are as high as over P500 000 for a 2-bed flat are a stark example of just what it means to compete with government. While other developers would struggle to sell flats at that astronomical price, BHC will probably have no problem selling them because even though they have to make profit for government, they can afford both the infrastructure and the cost of selling at such an expensive rate. These prices are, if anything, a cause for concern in the industry as it sets a high precedent of selling-price which private developers might not afford and probably even the


industry cannot afford. The Lands and Housing Minister Nonofo Molefhi was right in his remarks in that ‘BHC houses are expensive’ on his Budget speech. Government should instead be in the business of providing a conducive environment for housing developers including individual land owners to thrive and create wealth. If anything, a case for government involvement in the market could be made through provision of social housing/affordable housing for the less privileged instead of trading in the high value lucrative market. Housing is a development asset which many Batswana can benefit from to enrich themselves and hence our economy. Government should instead provide the framework for development such as servicing sewage, roads, electricity and telephones to allow developers and individuals to benefit fully through property development. Imagine what it would mean to our property market if BHC was in the local hands and all the wealth it creates benefiting citizens rather than government?

your questions answered ON PROPERTY FINANCING

What should you ask about Home Loans?

Extracted from guidelines at Federal Reserve ( RATES • Ask each lender for a list of its current mortgage interest rates and whether the rates being quoted are the lowest for that day or week and if so ask whether the rate is fixed or adjustable. Keep in mind that when interest rates for adjustable-rate loans go up, generally so does the monthly payment. • If the rate quoted is for an adjustable-rate loan, ask how your rate and loan payment will vary, including whether your loan payment will be reduced when rates go down. • Ask about the loan’s annual percentage rate (APR). The APR takes into account not only the interest rate but also points, broker fees, and certain other credit charges that you may be required to pay, expressed as a yearly rate. FEES A home loan often involves many fees, such as loan origination or underwriting fees, broker fees, and transaction, settlement, and closing costs. Every lender should be able to give you an estimate of its fees. Many of these fees are negotiable. Some fees are paid when you apply for a loan (such as application and appraisal fees), and others are paid at closing. In some cases, you can borrow the money needed to pay these fees, but doing so will increase your loan amount and total costs. "No cost" loans are sometimes available, but they usually involve higher rates. Ask what each fee includes. Several items may be lumped into one fee. Ask for an explanation of any fee you do not understand. DOWN PAYMENTS AND PRIVATE MORTGAGE INSURANCE Some lenders require 10-20 percent of the home’s purchase price as a down payment (deposit). However, many lenders now offer loans that require less than 10 percent down. If a 10 percent deposit is not made, lenders usually require the home buyer to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI) to protect the lender in case the home buyer fails to pay. • Ask about the lender’s requirements for a deposit, including what you need to do to verify that funds for your deposit are available. • Ask your lender about special programs it may offer. If PMI is required for your loan ask what the total cost of the insurance will be. • Ask how much your monthly payment will be when the PMI premium is included.

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Comments Page 13

Welcome to the newest addition to the vibrant Botswana Media newspapers, Boidus Focus Newspaper. Boidus Focus is a building industry specific, fortnightly news paper published by Boidus Media. As an industry paper Boidus Focus will focus all it publications through print and website (www. on matters of our built environment in Botswana. Our Construction Industry in Botswana contributes significantly [1.4 percentage points over three months period to March 2011, (CSO)] to the national GDP and has an average employment contribution of 6.2% by September 2010, CSO. This amount of economic activity will now be further represented by a dedicated platform for sharing of ideas, networking and space to both celebrate and critic itself. The building consumer in Botswana will now have a dedicated access to industry information on matters of building design, building construction, planning, building financing, and also more importantly the consumer will now have space to contribute to the industry debate through our Comments and Letters section. The newspaper will also offer critically needed space for the industry professionals to reach out to the industry stakeholders though Boidus Editorials and Professional Guest Columns. Boidus Focus newspaper will aim to explore industry issues beyond the surface, usually the case with other generic media houses. We will achieve this by conducting in-depth interviews with relevant industry stakeholders and most importantly developing a fair and balanced reporting and featuring of views and opinions of all concerned. We hope that you will find Boidus Focus useful and we will endeavour to add value to the development of Botswana and help attain her goals and ambitions outlined in the historic VISION 2016 document. VISIT OUR WEBSITE For more information on Boidus, or to see where it all began, visit us at BOIDUS IS ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND FLICKR Follow us on these social websites to keep up to date; FACEBOOK: “BoidusBW” TWITTER: FLICKR: “Boidus Botswana” Boidus Pty. Ltd. P.O. Box 50097, Gaborone

> Lesley Mmokele on ‘Creating Homes for the People Should Not Be a “Pet Project”’

I must say I’m really excited about this site and to see that our architects are doing something in our country.

In concern with this article, I really wouldn’t like us to dwell much into political things and forget our role as architects. The president initiated the development of housing for the needy because he is the president, that’s it. What we need to worry about is our role as architects not as politicians. But as I read down, I get points that I really appreciate ‘community involvement, creating homes, not houses' and the concept of urban design. Its true that our cities are being destroyed, with buildings that do not create urban spaces, with homes that are locked behind 2m screen walls and with a set up of houses that has no language. I think we have brilliant architects who studied hard and I’m confident that we can solve such problems before they get worse. A great concern I have about our built environment is having the work being done by people who don’t even have a clue about the built environment. In

our country we have plans drawn and submitted to council by anybody who feels like drawing. I really think its high time a lot of things are regulated like in other countries. There should be a recognised body that all technicians, architects, and related consultants can register. For people to register the body should demand certain qualification, so that the registered candidates can be ensured that they are compliant. In this way, we will have only registered professionals who are doing the work and who are allowed to submit drawings at council. I believe this is a cry for all architects especially when it comes to fees and making a living because these days we get people selling plans at very minimum costs, like P300 and these are the people who are rating our profession low. It’s sad that some of us have studied painfully and have pulled all nights, and I know every qualified architect knows the culture of studying for this job. All architects should come together for the good of our country. (

> Lekgotla on ‘Envisaging an Urban Regeneration Strategy for Gaborone City’

I agree with the article. Gaborone has grown beyond the scope of the GCC. The council should only be tasked with providing the necessary infrastructure.

authorities. In addition I believe the Gaborone business community should be engaged fully by such a body to ensure the continued viability of the city.

Such a vision of the city should be administered by an independent development authority. The London Docklands Development Corporation comes to mind when thinking of regeneration

As for sources of funding why not tap into the alcohol levy? I think its fair for the city to ask for a share of the money back since most of the funds were probably sourced from there. (

> Ishmael Mokgadi, via email

BOIDUS F O C U S Botswana’s Architecture Design & Urban Landscape Newspaper

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> Keal Sam, via email

‘I am a young man who likes taste, but it seems I am looking 4 it from the wrong people. After reading your article i think we are not getting great designs from our architects. I have been running around looking for someone who can design me a double


I am concerned about the buildings that continue to show some defects, and the way things are done at DEBS, HOW can the government spend so much money training us, and then they don’t use us?


T: +267 738 05 898 E: Boidus is on TWITTER

want to market ourselves, obviously, and would like to do so without paying the ridiculous advertising rates that are often demanded, since - being newlyestablished and not-so-experienced - we’re short of cash! Therefore, we would like to know if it is okay for us to send you our designs and fantasies once in a while, for your readers to critique (and hopefully not to tear to shreds!) Cheers! (by email)

storey house but they all give me std designs. This gives me an impression that if you are not a good artist you cannot be a good architect! Drawing my imagination and converting it to architectural designs is a problem locally.’ (by email)

> Oagile Ricco Ompatile, via email

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Hi there! It’s pleasing that, finally a website has come up that is dedicated to writing about the built environment within and around Gaborone. Keep up the good work, and you have my support! I’m part of a new design firm that specialises mostly in industrial design, but also with architectural and landscape design ambitions. We’re based in Johannesburg currently, but we hope to move to Gabs in the near future. We

Boidus is on FLICKR “Boidus Botswana”

They continue to use foreign consultants, and these consultants hire foreign inspectors who don’t have our beloved country at heart, that’s why they don’t supervise well. (by email)

DISCLAIMER: Please note that the views expressed in 'Comments and Letters' are neither those of Boidus, its management, nor its advertisers.

BOIDUS IS • Individuals working together towards a common goal • A social network dedicated to creativity • Interaction between the arts, architecture and design across the creative media • Lifestyle, career, theory, fashion…diversity of subject

by H. Killion Mokwete


A biweekly design newspaper distributed on Mondays.

Welcome to Boidus Focus Newspaper: A platform for the Construction Industry in Botswana

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BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Procuring Building Services & Understanding Consultants by Boidus Admin

Building procurement is a complex process costing a lot of money, and it is a component which, when done correctly, enables the building construction itself to proceed smoothly. The complexity of the procuring process is compounded

by the many professions involved, all of whom are separate of each other but need to work together to realize a building project. This is unlike in many other fields, for example in medicine, a doctor often would refer to all the other spe-

What is a Quantity Surveyor?

WHAT DOES QS DO? A quantity surveyor manages all costs relating to building and civil engineering projects, from the initial calculations to the final figures. Surveyors seek to minimise the costs of a project and enhance value for money, while still achieving the required standards and quality. A quantity surveyor may work for either the client or the contractor, working in an office or on-site or as part of design team. They are involved in a project from the start, preparing estimates and costs of the work. When the project is in progress, quantity surveyors. The title of the job may also be referred to as a construction cost consultant or commercial manager. TYPICAL WORK ACTIVITIES Typical tasks may include: • preparing tender and contract documents, including bills of quantities with the architect and/or the client; • undertaking costs analysis for repair and maintenance project work; • performing risk and value management and cost control; • advising on procurement strategy; • identifying, analysing and developing responses to commercial risks; • preparing and analysing costings for tenders; • analysing outcomes and writing detailed progress reports; • valuing completed work and arranging payments; • Understanding the implications of health and safety regulations. Areas requiring more specialised knowledge include: • offering advice on property taxation; • providing post-occupancy advice, facilities management services and life cycle costing advice; • assisting clients in locating and accessing additional and alternative sources of funds; • enabling clients to initiate construction projects; • advising on the maintenance costs of specific buildings. Via:

cialists’ fields found in medicine. One goes to a doctor as a first point of health consulting and trusts that from then on, all the advice would then lead to where they need assistance.

What is an Architect?

In architecture and the building industry however, things are very different. There is not necessarily a one point of contact where one can get all the assistance and advice. For the corporate client with resources, the process could easily be outsourced to contracting managers and project management specialists who would offer advice, and in some cases undertake the whole procuring process on behalf of the client.

It is important to note that qualified architects have to undergo and complete a prescribed education process which affords them registration by the Registrar. The Registration Body in this case does not mean professional membership bodies such as Architects Association of Botswana (AAB), South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), American Institute of Architects (AIA) or Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and others. All these are membership bodies, more like clubs who are not legally bound by any specific piece of legislation. The Registration Body however is a legally empowered body which is mandated to keeps records of all practicing architects in the country and has legal powers to prosecute and strike off architects found guilty of violating code of ethics set by the Registrar.

The architectural profession in Botswana is one of the least understood due to many reasons but chief amongst them being that actually it is still not yet formalized (legally) into a real ‘profession’ yet. There still are no laws and guidelines governing who can and can’t practice as an ‘architect’. Until the task committee headed by Mr G. Manowe completes drafting the code and regulations of the Architects Registration Council of Botswana (ARCB), architects in Botswana will still not be regulated. The other key reason to this is the relatively new education institutions teaching architecture locally. It is less than seven years since the University of Botswana started offering architecture as one of its degree courses. This year’s (2010) graduating interns make the second batch of students locally trained to become architects. The only other school offering a technical qualification in architecture related subjects is Limkwokwing. It is therefore not common or surprising to find clients especially the smaller of local clients who still do not clearly know how one instructs or let alone know who is and who is not an architect.

Planning Application, Change of Land Use: What does it all mean?

by Boidus Admin

The process of building in Botswana especially in urban or semi urban areas is regulated by the Town and Country Planning Act and the Building Control Act, administered by the Department of Town and Regional Planning (DTRP), while Local Authority Planning considers standard applications.

Points considered when applying for Planning Application... BUILDING SITTING ON THE PLOT & PLOT COVERAGE: Set backs from the boundary or fence walls are a compulsory requirement for any type of development. The size of set backs differs depending on the proposed development use. For a typical one story residential dwelling this setbacks are usually: • 2.5 meters from three sides • 5 meters from the front edge. Commercial developments have a much better leeway on setbacks and plot coverage areas. Although there are no specific setback requirements for commercial developments, it is always worth consulting with the relevant planning authorise so they can ascertain adequacy of key requirements such as fire access and escape strategies, neighbour and boundary walls resolution

NUMBER OF STOREYS & OPEN SPACE PROVISION: The height of the buildings is controlled by the development control code. It is critical to consult with local authorities to establish the limit in you area. In general residential developments are guided by: • 3m for single family development • 6 storeys for multi residential developments Any developments more than one storey will have to be approved with consent of the neighbours. Therefore ensure that a neighbourhood consultation form is completed and submitted with your application. Commercial developments have more flexibility on height restrictions and it is important to establish what zone the proposed development is zoned as. This has implications of height restrictions es-

pecially where the area is a non business designated area. Three storeys will be the maximum height for non business designated areas. VEHICLE PARKING AND ACCESS: Minimum parking requirements are also a compulsory requirement, which differs depending on the proposed building use. For residential developments, a minimum of 1 parking space is a requirement for single family residential and 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit for multi family development. Other issues of consideration: • Fire strategies • Access strategy • Communal space The next instalment essay will highlight key aspects of ‘Change of Use application’

We have discussed aspects of this subject here before. ‘Architect’, internationally is a protected term which, like a Doctor, a Lawyer and Accountant, denotes a qualified professional registered to offer the services outlined by some regulating body.

In Botswana we do not yet have a legal registrar of qualified architects (still be formulated by the Registration Council of Botswana (ARCB)), which is why there is a grey shade as to who really is an architect in Botswana and which codes of ethics binds them to what? There are of course ethics in the respective professional bodies, but these are not legally binding. SO HOW DOES ONE KNOW WHO AND WHO IS NOT AN ARCHITECT? Once the ARCB completes the code and a registrar is established in Botswana, this question will become easier to answer. As for now, a best bet is to look at the professional bodies such as the AAB and regionally SAIA, RIBA and others. These although not legal bodies, will at least give you a platform to complain against any aspects related to the services of your architect. Where someone calls themselves an architect and are not registered with at any professional body at all, it would be risky to take them for their word that they are indeed an architect. WHY WOULD ONE NEED ANY ARCHITECT? Traditionally, architects were like: Doctors, who would be your first point of call on health related issues, a lawyer would be on matters of the law. Although there are now specialist’s areas, an architect is trained to advice on generally all aspects related to buildings. It is part of their role to offer advice not only on the building structure, but other services related to engineering, statutory requirements and even fund raising for the project financing. Therefore a qualified architect should be value for your money as compared to giving ready made drawings with no other services. More importantly, a qualified architect is required by law to carry Professional Indemnity Insurance (PII). All architects are required to show proof of this before they can undertake any job. The importance of this can not be understated. Buildings as physical structures are liable to defects and other mishaps that might be of natural or mistakes of the team including the architect. Therefore, as a client you need to know what will happen should your roof cave in five years after your building is complete. Who do you turn to? The PI insurance protects consumers against such eventualities. Therefore ask for proof of PI insurance of your architect next time you meet them for your project. Another key reason for using an architect is that just like you feel ‘safe’ going to your doctor, using a qualified architect, should be a ‘safe’ process with no catches. There should exist both consumer protection procedures that ensure and protect you from unscrupulous individuals masquerading as architects. This way you would know that you can lodge a complaint and action would be taken against that person. HOW MUCH WILL AN ARCHITECT COST? Architecture like any other profession costs money. Therefore, architects all cost money for their services. This is also true of doctors, lawyers and others. Architects however have guiding fee tariffs which clients can use as basis for negotiations. These tariffs are normally based off percentage fractions of the total building construction cost. The tariffs are set by professional bodies that the architects subscribe to. In Botswana, most architects use the Botswana Institute of Development Professional (BIDP) and also sometimes, South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP), tariffs. It is important however to note that these are guidelines and hence some architects will negotiate above or bellow these. Clients should be wary of an architect who promises to undertake work for ridiculously low rates as this could mean that the architect would have to cut corners in order to deliver at those low prices. Where a code of ethics exists, such under pricing is outlawed to avoid architects who lure clients with low fees only to fail to deliver on the promises.

BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

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WHY BOIDUS? • the consumer of the built environment needs to be in a position to access information regarding what the architectural industry is up to • a platform for discussion and discourse needs to be created where open, earnest discussions on important issues take place


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BOIDUS FOCUS Monday 01 -14 August, 2011

Boidus Focus - Vol 1, Issue 2 [Aug 2011]