Content Uploaded by: Olga Koma

February 3, 2014 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) launched their 2014 election manifesto this month.  The promises the ruling party is making for the next five years of government are based on a longer policy conversation, the roots of which can be found in the April 2012 National Development Plan (NDP), which detailed the developmental vision of national government. Essentially the NDP is centred on 5 core pillars: Economic Development, Infrastructure Investment, Rural Development, Environmental Sustainability and Human Settlements. As I have mentioned in a blog written back in 2012: “The plan sets out three areas of focus for future policy reform:…

December 10, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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The Minister of Finance in Zambia recently delivered his national assembly Budget Speech for the 2014 financial year. With a robust economy measured at 7.3% in 2012 and projected to increase to 7.8% in 2014, the minister sees this economic growth as a chance for all Zambians to also benefit from the growth. The total budget proposed amounts to US$7.6 billion which makes up 30.7% of total GDP, of which 1.5% will be directed towards Housing and Community Amenities.  The housing deficit is estimated at 1.3 million units countrywide which means that 130 000 units must be delivered annually over…

December 6, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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Zimbabwe’s financial sector has remained resilient besides slowing GDP growth in recent years. Notwithstanding the country’s highly developed financial sector (16 commercial banks, 3 building societies and about 150 microfinance institutions), financial exclusion persists. FinScope’s 2011 survey found that 40 percent of the population were excluded from formal and informal banking. The current housing deficit in Zimbabwe is estimated at 1.25 million units, and housing supply has been made a priority by the Ministry of National Housing and Social Amenities. A social National Housing Policy was adopted in 2012, highlighting mass housing projects specifically aimed at low income earners. The…

April 12, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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Recently I attended a conference hosted by Urban LandMark (an organisation dedicated to making urban land markets work for (and with) the poor, founded in 2006). The conference was held in Johannesburg over two days (from the 13th to the 14th March 2013). And it had a stimulating line-up of speakers each of whom were well versed in their respective sectors. There was an array of topics being presented and discussed.  Of particular interest to me was the second session titled: Investor impacts in African countries, with a particular focus on Chinese investments in Africa. Discussing this topic was: Allan…

January 25, 2013 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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It is incredible the change that occurs in an area over a defined period. Four years ago there were two Cashbuild stores supplying the largest district municipality of Capricorn in Limpopo Province, in the north of South Africa. Going back today, that number has more than doubled, and rightly so due to the noticeable scale at which many people are improving their houses. The demand for housing construction materials is evidenced by the upsurge in these building stores. Alongside the growth of building stores is the number of households that are either in the process of renovating or adding rooms,…

November 19, 2012 by Olga Koma | 3 Comments
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Industry Insight (a company established to provide market intelligence on South Africa’s construction industry) launched their second quarter report for 2012 titled: The State of the South African Construction Industry.   Industry Insight provides data on the construction industry’s four sectors: Residential, Social Housing, Non-Residential and Civil Works. The construction industry plays a very important role within all built environment sectors. The residential sector (inclusive of social housing) is largely affected by fluctuations within the industry. It is therefore important that we are aware of the changes that occur in the construction sector. Some of the interesting points that emerge from…

October 26, 2012 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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During the first week of this month (1st – 6th October) I attended a five day intense Housing Finance Course at the University of Cape Town (UCT): Graduate School of Business. The program is a joint venture between UCT and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Centre for Affordable Housing Finance in Africa and the African Union for Housing Finance were the main sponsors. The course was absolutely captivating, in that it clarified the entire spectrum of the housing process, inclusive of all the role players. I come from a town planning background and it was a…

August 22, 2012 by Olga Koma | 4 Comments
zapiro cartoon

Professor Phillip Harrison gave a very convincing account of how the government envisions the future of South Africa through its newly drafted paper – The National Development Plan, which was handed over to the president in parliament on the 15th of August. The NDP is essentially a developmental vision from national government, and aims to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by the year 2030.  I attended a seminar at Wits University in Johannesburg, on Tuesday afternoon (21 August), in which Prof. Harrison (who was one of the people commissioned to draft the report) reviewed the future plan but from a…

April 26, 2012 by Olga Koma | No Comments
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Every second year the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs releases population estimates and projections of the urban and rural populations of all countries worldwide. The 2011 revision revealed that Asia and Africa will lead in urban population growth by the year 2050. Asia’s urban population will increase from 1.9 billion to 3.3 billion, and Africa’s population will increase from 414 million to over 1.2 billion. According to projections made in the report, both these continents will account for 86% of the increase in the world’s urban population by 2050. Cities are the engines that drive national economies…

February 22, 2012 by Olga Koma | 2 Comments
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Ghana’s housing deficit currently stands at 1.6 million units, and escalates with each passing year.  A programme by the Ghana Business Report recently explored four reasons contributing to the housing crisis in Ghana, and explored some of the possible solutions: 1.  Land use management: Ghana does not have a comprehensive land management plan, and this makes it unable to respond to the high rate of urbanisation. In 2009 over 50% of the population in Ghana were urban dwellers and the figures were projected to reach 65% by 2030. The programme reports that Ghana’s lack of a spatial plan is already…