Appointment of the Chief Executive Officer of the Property Management Corporation
The Office of the President has today announced the appointment of Mr Francis Collie as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Property Management Corporation (PMC). Mr Steve Mussard remains as the Deputy Chief Executive officer.
Efforts to establish regional sewage treatment plants is but one of the priorities which the Ministry of Lands and Housing is hoping to accomplish with the support of the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC), Minister for Lands and Housing Billy Rangasamy announced yesterday.
Sewage is one of the main challenges in the country at present, he remarked.
The Seychelles Infrastructure Agency (SIA) is avoiding the use of septic tanks and soakaways on new housing projects, clarified chief executive Jitesh Shah and is instead using sewage treatment plants (STP) or connecting to existing PUC sewage networks which do not require any maintenance.
Minister Rangasamy and officials from the various agencies under his portfolio were before the National Assembly yesterday to answer members’ questions pertaining to different projects within their respective districts.
Moratorium on construction on Ile Perseverance
The moratorium on construction by residents of Ile Perseverance is still in force, and guidelines regarding different types of construction are to be announced as soon as approved by cabinet, Minister Rangasamy stated.
A moratorium was imposed by the ministry last year with the aim of deterring illegal constructions, encroachment, blocking of public pathways and other works not in accordance with the requirements of the Seychelles Planning Authority (SPA).
This was to allow entities including the SPA, SIA, Property Management Corporation (PMC), and the PUC to analyse the situation and draft the necessary guidelines.
In the past, a significant proportion of construction works were carried out “in the service corridors, which led to a lot of complaints by inhabitants and other entities such as PUC,” Minister Rangasamy clarified.
These include boundary walls and house extensions constructed on top of the drainage and sewage systems, severely impacting possible future maintenance works.
However, all residents who have already sought and received approval from SPA for the construction of boundary walls and fencing may submit a commencement notice notifying the SPA of their intent to start their projects, to allow the entity to monitor progress.
All construction works must be in accordance to the provisions of the newly enforced Physical Planning Act.
Reroofing works at Dan Limon, Beoliere
The tender process for reroofing works for tenants of Dan Limon, Beoliere have already been completed.
Nine of twenty-two tenants have agreed to the conditions, including repayment terms, while negotiations are still under way with the remaining thirteen.
The works are set to commence as soon as the agreements are signed.
Nationally, “there are 756 houses with the roofing problem”, Minister Rangasamy stated, assuring that his ministry is committed to addressing the situation.
Houses with roofing issues are mainly those with concrete roofing tiles.
Deed transfers for residents of Dan Koko housing estate, St Louis
As of April 2021, the ministry has undertaken much work to accelerate and complete the processes, so as to remit to residents of Dan Koko housing estate, St Louis, with their deed of transfers.
Even if surveys had already been completed, the PMC was obliged to transfer the plots on which the blocks have been constructed over to government, and then to the entity itself, a time consuming element to the process.
It has also been necessary for the SIA to reproduce the house plans in line with the provisions of the Condominium Act, in the absence of such plans.
“Technical works are completed, and PMC along with its lawyer have completed all formalities, as well as effecting the stamp duty payments. All that is remaining is the registration of the five blocks to formalise it, before PMC can call resident one by one to sign their deeds,” Minister Rangasamy stated.
Applicants can expect to be called towards the end of July.
Renovation works to residences at Ex Geers housing estate, St Louis
One of the main problems faced by inhabitants of the Ex Geers housing estate is concrete spalling, Minister Rangasamy remarked, as is the case for many others living in older buildings.
Concrete spalling is largely caused by carbonation, a natural deterioration process. This causes the steel bars embedded in the ceiling slab to corrode, which in turn causes the concrete cover to crack and bulge.
In a bid to address the situation, the ministry in September 2022 conducted a comprehensive evaluation of all units on the estate, and prepared a detailed renovation plan inclusive of the costs for each individual unit.
Among the important considerations government has to take into account is relocation of the families, repayments terms and the duration of work for each unit. The ministry intends to meet with tenants and district authorities by April to determine the best way forward.
All of the units on the estate are privately-owned having already been paid off by the tenants.
The estate boasts four blocks of six units, totalling 24 units.
Efforts to make available land bank plots on La Digue
The ministry is working hard to find sustainable housing solutions for La Digue residents, to be able to meet demand for both land and housing on the island.
At present, there are 71 applicants seeking land while a further 80 have applied for affordable housing solutions, 24 of whom are paying towards their home savings scheme (HSS).
According to Minister Rangasamy, one of the land bank projects which government was looking into is not financially viable, and government lacks any alternative residential land bank plots on the island.
“However, to honour our commitment to the selected few who qualified under the point system of 2020, the ministry is exploring the possibility of four to six additional plots in the vicinity of the 24 houses, 24 districts project, near L’Union Estate,” Minister Rangasamy stated.
As such, government will be left with barely any options but to buy land from the private market, to be able to assist families on La Digue. As these purchases will be financed from taxpayers funds, plots should be reasonable priced.
Developments on parcel V5150, Roche Caiman
Despite a number of projects which were planned for the plot V5150, measuring 7144 square metres, the matter is still being disputed in court.
As per elected United Seychelles (US) member for Roche Caiman Audrey Vidot, the site remains abandoned and has become a centre for delinquent activities.
The ministry last conducted a clean-up on the site in 2017.
Second phase of construction Ex Hunt, Anse aux Poules Bleues, Baie Lazare
The 2023 budget makes provisions for the second phase of house construction at Ex Hunt, Baie Lazare.
Project plans have already been submitted to the SPA, Minister Rangasamy remarked, and based on the recommendations of the SPA, certain minor modifications are under way to ensure the project is as sustainable as possible.
The tender for the project is expected to be launched in April.
The project comprises 16 units, eight two-bedroom units and eight three-bedroom units, and the construction phase is expected to be completed by April 2024.
The Property Management Corporation isstrengthening its enforcement team to address anti-social behaviours in housing estates to ensure tenants are abiding to their housing agreement.
Minister for Lands and Housing, Billy Rangasamy made the statement yesterday morning when answering a question from elected member of the National Assembly for Mont Fleuri, Michel Roucou, who wanted to know the measures being undertaken to discourage anti-social behaviours in housing estates in the country.
Minister Rangasamy said there are several measures including strengthening the enforcement team, and planning on increasing their monitoring both during day and night times. “They are even planning on conducting unannounced visits to the estates,” said Minister Rangasamy.
Minister Rangasamy said PMC also plans to intensify its collaboration with the police and district authorities for more patrols in the estates.
“We also plan on having a new PMC board comprising members who have the ability to address these anti-social issues, as well as come up with an intensive educational campaign to educate the tenants, including both parents and children in their respective schools on the accepted behaviour in those housing estates,” he said.
According to him, PMC will also be intensifying legal actions against those who do not abide to their agreement, including filing court cases and evicting tenants who are repeated offenders, although this would still remain as their last option.
The minister was accompanied by PMC’s deputy chief executive, Steve Mussard, who informed the National Assembly that PMC’s enforcement team includes five enforcement officers and three legal officers. To ensure follow-ups of all legal cases, PMC has also appointed a new legal officer, who is the liaison person between PMC and the court.
“This means police casesrelated to anti-social behaviour and others like non-payment, would now be handled in a more structured way,”he said, adding that with the new team and legal officer, things are moving faster. “We are seeing the difference and we will be able to take actions more directly,” he stated.
MinisterRangasamy said they are undertaking those measures to ensure the tenants are behaving in a responsible manner towards their houses and their neighbours. The ministry also plans to review the existing laws and modernise them.
There are presently 150 housing estates in the country.
Eight families yesterday received keys to their new houses in ‘Kan Gard Estate’ in the Plaisance district.
The new block, comprising three bedrooms each, was the third block to be completed as part of the redevelopment phase of Kan Gard Estate undertaken by the Property Management Corporation (PMC).
In his welcoming remarks, the Minister for Land and Housing, Billy Rangasamy, stated that the block was around R1 million per unit and called on the new inhabitants “to appreciate the value of what they are getting”.
He appealed to the residents to ensure appropriate behaviour and not to follow the present negative trend of some people in other housing estates.
“I am praying that the new Plaisance residents can all live in harmony,” he stated.
Minister Rangasamy also spoke against drug use stating this will not be tolerated in the housing units.
“We have to remain exemplary and push back against this.”
For his part, the elected member of the National Assembly for the district, Hon. Richard Labrosse, said there was unity between the new inhabitants and highlighted the importance for them to look out for each other.
“We are not saying to go sit at each other’s houses but to have a watchful eye over the new community that you will create,” he stated.
He explained that picking eight names out of the thousands that were on the list was not an easy task but eventually they chose eight people who they believed will truly make a difference and treat the houses with respect.
“Those who are still waiting we ask for your patience and we are still working,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Minister Rangasamy said that meeting housing demand in Seychelles is one of the biggest challenges.
He stated that there is roughly 3,000 families awaiting a house. “It is not easy but the housing team is working hard.”
To conclude he stated that the government is working hard to find new plots of land for the construction of new houses and is spending up to R156 million on housing projects.
“We are already committed and we are looking for finance from outside. We are trying,” he concluded.
Management and staff congratulate Acting-CEO, Mr. Steve Mussard for his appointment on the Planning Authority board of directors.
Congratulations Mr. Steve Mussard!!
Page 1 of 7