South Africa's housing technology takes centre stage in Russia

South Africa’s housing technology takes centre stage in Russia

Moladi, a South African award-winning housing technology, took centre stage last week in Moscow, Russia, at a housing conference organised by the Confederation of Real Estate Developers’ Associations of India (CREDAI).

Moladi CEO and designer Hennie Botes stepped into the podium to explain how his technology can help countries such as India solve its unending housing crisis.

India and South Africa, both BRICS members, have similar social problems which include grinding poverty, homelessness and lack of adequate housing. Both countries are also experiencing problems of rapid urbanisation that seem to frustrate their governments’ inconsistent housing plans.

The African National Congress-led government’s ambitious promise to build millions of ‘free’ houses for the majority of poor black South Africans has backfired and is yet to be fulfilled, leading to regular service delivery protests, which analysts believe could one day lead to massive uprising and street revolution.

India, the world’s largest democracy, is home to an estimated 841 million poor people living on less than US$2 a day.  In 2012 urban housing backlog in India was estimated at 21 million, indicating that one fourth of the urban dwellers are living in inadequate housing or are homeless urban dwellers.

In her key note address, Indian minister of housing and urban poverty alleviation, Dr Girija Vyas emphasised the need for more affordable housing to be built in her country in order to deal with its rapidly growing urban population.

That is where Botes and his famous Moladi come in.  Botes discussed Moladi’s contribution to build affordable homes in India with Dr Vyas. Negotiations have been initiated to set up a new entity “moladiINDIA” to represent the technology exclusive in India. This will pave the way to the transfer of skills and creation of jobs.

Moladi was established in 1986, and constitutes the use of removable, reusable and recyclable and lightweight plastic forms mould.

Each set of Moladi formwork panels can be used 50 times, making the technology cost-effective due to its repetitive scheme, reducing the cost of construction and transportation significantly, according to the company’s website.

The 13th NATCON-2013 also heard that much can be learned and shared between South Africa and India, both in terms of its challenges and its solutions in overcoming those challenges.

CREDAI is an private organisation of Indian real estate developers representing over 9000 member associations.

Photo: Moladi CEO and designer Hennie Botes shakes hands with Indian minister Dr Yyas on the sidelines of the CREDAI conference in Moscow, Russia

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