Patent Building System

Hennie Botes











South Africaís low-cost housing dilemma is in the news nearly every day. Hennie Botes looked at the basic problem, applied some complex technology and thinking and came up with a simple solution: he invented patented moulds that allow the rapid erection of low-cost, labour-intensive, quality housing. Now his company, Moladi, is putting roofs over peopleís heads in South Africa, Nigeria, Panama, Jamaica and Ghana and more.

On the entrepreneurial philosophy

If you can solve a problem and sell the solution, youíre going to be successful. Itís a theme from the book Think and Grow Rich (by Napoleon Hill) and I really subscribe to that. Sadly, it seems that in South Africa today we donít do enough to nurture entrepreneurship. The basic schooling curriculum is not encouraging self-development or generating enough self-employed people. The result is a generation thinking that life owes them something.

Hennie Botes

On overcoming obstacles

When Bell invented the phone, it wasnít very successful. People didnít see the attributes or understand how it might be used in the future and I had similar problems. I was highly motivated and really believed in my idea, but when I presented it to investors, theyíd shoot holes in it. I had to overcome these hurdles. Itís been a 22-year journey, but I always kept the goal in mind. Moses spent 40 years in the desert and Noah took years to build the ark, but they both knew what they were doing and why. Iím quite happy my desert experience was only 20-odd years, though.

On putting roofs over peopleís heads

Thereís an American company that wants to build classrooms in Iraq, and they told me weíre the third M: there was a guy who saw a need for a global burger and McDonalds was the result; there was a guy who saw the need for global computer software and Microsoft was born; and thereís a need for housing and Moladi provides a solution. That really motivates me - the fact that we can address the huge housing need while creating employment. Handing over a house is guaranteed "goosebumps" stuff, every time.


Hennie Botes - Inventor of moladi

On innovation

Itís not just the way you build the wall of a house, but the way you supply the entire product. Our building process has been approved and accepted, so itís time to look ahead. Weíre working on producing windows, doors, toilet seats, window frames, sinks and washbasins. If I can include these as part of my product, Iíll reduce the total unit cost of the house. The more I reduce the overall price, the more houses Moladi will produce. Iíd rather build a house a day and sell it for R1 000, than build one house a year and sell it for a million.

Men's Health Best Man annual awards recognise South African men who are making a difference in society today. These men inspire us in our daily lives and create unique opportunities for all South Africans to reach their goals and develop themselves.


Keywords - Hennie Botes, Best Man 2009, Science Technology Winner, moladi, innovation, moladi, low cost housing, science and technology, Inventor of moladi,


Patent Building SystemUpdated -03 June 2016