BUSINESS MAVERICK 168
South African company to build homes for Ghana’s public servants
Modular construction firm Moladi says it will be delivering 60,000 houses to Ghanaians in 10 years.
First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.
South African modular construction firm Moladi has signed an agreement with three major public servant associations in Ghana to deliver 60,000 houses to teachers, healthcare workers and municipal workers over an initial 10-year period.
This follows similar but smaller agreements in Côte d’Ivoire and Cameroon. Madagascar also has plans to develop three new cities with 20,000 homes per city and has expressed interest.
The Moladi building system is less expensive than traditional brick and mortar. It comprises a reusable plastic formwork mould, which is filled with stoneless concrete and a special chemical additive. The additive ensures that once the mortar is set, the formwork can be removed – and reused up to 50 times.
Recyclability and simplicity help to keep construction costs down. The model also allows for rapid construction as the wall structure can be completed in a day.
Moladi founder Hennie Botes estimates Moladi’s construction costs at R4,030/m², compared with the Statistics SA average of R7,000/m². As the construction technique is simple, skills can be transferred to the local communities in a short time.
“Don’t speak to me about the Fourth Industrial Revolution when there are 12 million unemployed people in South Africa alone,” says Botes. “It is not the 4IR that is going to get people to work. We have neglected the jobs at the base of the pyramid.
“Not everyone is good with maths and science. We need to start producing doors, window frames and roof sheets for ourselves instead of importing them from China. If we do not produce jobs for the people at the base of the pyramid, that does not bode well for our 800,000 unemployed graduates at the top of the pyramid.” In Ghana, the intention is to build 6,000 houses on government-allocated land in the first year.
To streamline the process, Moladi has established a home loan division that works with banks and other donor funding organisations to offer bonds to qualifying public servants for terms of 10, 15 or 20 years.
It then works with those who have qualified, to determine which home design best suits their budget. The homes will cost $15,000 (R222,000), $20,000 (R295,400) and $25,000 (R369,250) for 45m², 55m² and 78m², respectively.
The monthly mortgage will be deducted by the government (the employer) and transferred to moladiHomeLoan and the dividend paid to the banks or investors.
Despite his passion for job creation and low-cost infrastructure, Botes has had more success elsewhere in Africa than in South Africa, where Moladi has been limited to building classrooms for the departments of education in the Western Cape, Northern Cape and Gauteng. DM168
This story first appeared in our weekly Daily Maverick 168 newspaper which is available for R25 at Pick n Pay, Exclusive Books and airport bookstores. For your nearest stockist, please click here.