Sisulu: Backyard dwellers a national concern

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said that government had built close to 4,3 million houses in the country but this was not enough.

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu addresses representatives of disgruntled Gauteng communities in Soweto, 14 May 2016.  Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu says the issue of backyard dwelling is a national concern which will be prioritised under the new housing plan.

Sisulu met with community representatives in Soweto on Sunday, where she said government had built close to 4,3 million houses in the country but this was not enough.

Last week saw violent protests in areas surrounding Ennerdale, Eldorado Park and Lenasia over housing.

At least 70 people were arrested for public violence.

WATCH: Ennerdale looters pelt police vehicle with bricks

Sisulu says government is not blind to the challenges faced by communities.

She adds that the purpose of the Sunday meeting was for the three spheres of government to meet with communities to address their challenges.

“For every new development, 30% of the allocation must go to backyarders.”

She has also promised the crowd to release young people who were arrested unlawfully when protests began.

“I’ll call the police commissioner to say the children arrested need to be released.”

Various projects around land distribution and housing will begin as soon as next month, as part of an agreement reached during the meeting.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)