Business News of Wednesday, 3 April 2013
To ensure a speedy reduction in the country’s significant housing deficit, Government must meet estate developers half-way to address some of the numerous challenges facing the sector, says Anthony Safo, Director of Corporate Affairs and Marketing for Devtraco Limited.
In an interview with B&FT, Mr. Safo called for a streamlined land administration system to restrain instances where estate developers are locked up in legal issues due to multiple sales of lands by land owners and custodians of stool lands.
“Only Government can get you land on free-hold. We do get lands on lease-holds but the problem is some of the stool lands and land owners sell the land to more than one person, thereby generating litigation on the land. “If we had a much more streamlined administration, then we would not need to go through all these challenges,” he said.
On access to long-term funding, Mr. Safo said: “In terms of financing, we believe that Government can meet us at a certain point because we can source funds from different sources. But with the land administration, we have no control over it whatsoever.
“To help reduce the current housing deficit in the country, Government should intervene so that it will be easy for estate developers to have access to lands.” Mr. Safo represented Devtraco, an estates development company, when Superbrands, a brands promotion and research company, led a team — comprising top-management members from selected top brands in the country — paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Trade and Industry.
He touched on his company’s status as a “superbrand” and how they intend to maintain it: “First of all, it humbles us and places a great deal of responsibility on us. “Superbrands consist of a group of branding experts who focus on promoting the discipline of branding and identifying and paying tribute to exceptional brands — and they recognised Devtraco as a “superbrand”, so we are humbled.
“But as we acknowledge the glory, we are also aware that it is something we have to keep up. Branding not only affects good communication, it also goes with top-quality products — so we need to ensure that our quality delivery is still up there.
“We will continue to communicate and have good interaction with our clients all the time, and provide products that portray our current status.”