Human Settlements Minister pledges to abolish hostels

Hostels, usually single-sex, have historically housed migrant workers from rural parts of the country.

FILE: Madala hostel in Alexandra. Picture: Aurelie Kalenga/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu on Thursday pledged to gradually abolish the concept of hostels.

She couldn't say how long this would take.

Sisulu was speaking ahead of her department's budget vote speech in Parliament.

Hostels, usually single-sex, have historically housed migrant workers from rural parts of the country.

"We've come to the determination that they are the relic of the past, a very painful relic of the past."

Sisulu said hostel dwellers would qualify for government subsidised housing initiatives, depending on their specific circumstances.

"We are an urbanising society, not a society based on migrate labour. We would like people who work in cities to feel they belong and are catered for."

She said government had to take stock of how many people were currently living in these structures.

The minister said hostels, meanwhile which had already been upgraded in parts of Gauteng, would be managed as social housing projects.