Basil Read strengthens focus on integrated housing development sector

According to Engineering News, Basil Read will be focusing on the integrated housing development sector to drive future growth and strengthen its order book, as this “is a real opportunity for South Africa”.

CEO Neville Nicolau said integrated housing development was of strategic importance to the country’s future, as for many years, South Africa had “perpetuated apartheid” by building entry-level housing in less accessible areas, in contrast with more expensive estates, effectively “splitting up society”, which has for some time now been undergoing a shift.

The division on Monday reported operating profit of R8.6-million for the six months to June 30, down from R14.8-million in the six months to June 2015; however, the company’s order book in the sector grew from R200-million to R470-million over the same period.

Nicolau explained that, over the last ten years, Basil Read had been involved with the Cosmo City development, west of Johannesburg, where entry-level housing and middle-class housing were mixed together in an area where auxiliary amenities were also built, including schools, shopping centres, churches and industrial areas.

Basil Read is also involved in the development of Savanna City, in the south of Johannesburg, where unit sales continue to exceed expectations, underscoring the demand for affordable

housing, with some 700 families already living in the development.

Meanwhile, Nicolau said progress at its Malibongwe Ridge development had slowed owing to the budgetary constraints of key government partners. Servicing for the first phase, comprising 486 fully subsidised residential stands, is complete and 41 homes have been handed over and occupied by residents.

Nicolau explained that the company continued to see growth in South Africa, despite the subdued buildingenvironment, as the country had capital to support infrastructure growth, unlike other countries in sub-Saharan Africa.