Planning Time Bomb in Gaborone’s High Density Settlements

Planning Time Bomb in Gaborone’s High Density Settlements

Snap surveys carried around Gaborone’s high density suburbs showed existence and sprouting of unregistered extensions and houses that are commonly referred to as mokhukhu or tight-knit shack structures. Residential areas have planning codes that need to be adhered to. When a new house is being constructed, permission is sort from the local planning authority. One is expected to submit the structural drawings when submitting the application. Once application is approved, the local authority is responsible for supervising the contractor ensuring proper building standards are adhered when construction is carried on. 

Some Batswana owning properties are not aware of the regulatory requirements associated in the construction of residential areas. This has led to a new culture being practiced by both unscrupulous landlords and contractors who are going around building mokhukhu or tight-knit shack houses in a bid to have many tenants and subsidize their incomes. Lessons can be adopted from literature for example (Chirisa et al, 2015) on the hazards associated with putting informal extensions on houses. It has potential of causing health hazards like cholera and stresses service provision infrastructure like water and sewer pumps. The main disadvantage associated with the habit is the negative neighborhood effects which have a detrimental effect on the general value of properties in the area under consideration. 

Reference is given to the case of Zimbabwe where it carried on Operation Murambasvina (OM) in 2005 which is directly translated Operation Clean-up-filth. Although much theories about justification of OM have been propounded, the main unquestionable evidence was the growth of unregistered buildings constructed in neighborhoods. The government of Zimbabwe carried on this unpopular operation through-out the country. They demolished all illegal structures as a way of restoring planning sanity. Millions of dollars was lost by the ill-advised real estate investors who had turned to building extensions and single houses in their properties. Today Zimbabwe serves as a reference for the unpopular operation. Every property investor whether in housing or commercial real property need to be alerted about the need to observe planning laws. This is achieved through support for sharing knowledge exchange for best practices. 

In conclusion, having property advisory services is a requirement for every serious property investor. Property advisory can enable one to make fine decisions on what to do with their properties. Advisory can enable one to detect danger and avoid it. Advisory also enables one to enjoy the highest possible yield from their real estate investments.

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