SA firm to spend $12m on houses

Prefab house
Prefab house

SUPREME Group of Companies has proposed to spend about US$12 million initial capital to build houses in Zambia.
The South African conglomerate, which is behind the construction of Petroda filling stations in the country, would like to partner with the Zambian government in providing cost-effective housing units using modern technology.

Making a presentation at Southern Sun on Wednesday at a meeting that was attended by senior government officials, engineers and directors, chief executive officer Igbal Shaik said Zambians need to embrace modern houses as they are cost-effective though equally durable like conventional ones.
Conventional houses are becoming outdated and are being replaced by modular structures.
Supreme homes, built with wooden panels and prefabricated walls, are resistant to water and fire and are also bullet-proof.
“There are so many advantages with modern homes – the first is the time factor, then they are just as durable as the conventional ones, but with them [prefabricated], you save in terms of construction costs,” Mr Shaik said.
According to him, Supreme Homes takes about one-and-half months to finish one house and this could be advantageous in terms of reducing the housing deficit in Zambia. And about 200 job opportunities will be created per 20 housing units.
“We are able to bring home ownership to the lowest in society because our homes are cost-effective and people could pay for them for five years,” Mr Shaik said.
Supreme Homes caters for different clients with low-cost, medium-cost and executive housing units.
The consortium of companies under its Supreme Alluminium, established in 1982, says it has extended its services to Zambia in partnership with Concepts Advertising, due to high demand for its products.
“This partnership will create employment and at the same time train youths in the communities where we will be operating from. This will ultimately create sustainable development and alleviate poverty in our African communities,” Mr Shaik said.
Apart from the home project, the Wednesday presentation was meant to market their state-of-the-art hospital equipment and reflective paints (for road markings) to the Zambian market.
Gideon Chibuye of Concepts Advertising said Supreme Homes can help avert the housing deficit in Zambia because they are more cost-effective.
Mr Chibuye said the housing deficit in Zambia has persisted due to the high cost of building and limited access to mortgages by the majority.
“This calls for concerted efforts to avert the housing shortage by employing technologies and materials that can help provide decent housing at low cost while maintaining durability,” he said.
Some people in the audience told the South African investors that they have a lot of work to do in terms of convincing the local people, who believe in conventional housing units, to embrace modern technology.