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Sisulu's dept looking to move ‘vulnerable communities’ amid lockdown

Several NGOs have approached the department raising concerns about the extreme proximity conditions in informal settlements.

Minister of Human Settlements, Water & Sanitation Lindiwe Sisulu at an inter-ministerial briefing on 24 March 2020 detailing how government will respond ahead of and during the 21-day lockdown announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Department of Human Settlements said it was talking to certain vulnerable communities about possibly moving them during the lockdown period.

Several NGOs have approached the department raising concerns about the extreme proximity conditions in informal settlements.

Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has met with the NGOs that have been working with her department.

The department said the possible relocations were part of efforts to protect South Africans from the rapid spread of COVID-19.

The NGOs have been going to communities explaining what the process of moving could entail.

The minister’s spokesperson McIntosh Polela said: “We don’t want where COVID-19 reaches the informal settlement and because of the extreme density of the informal settlement, we foresee that we will find ourselves overwhelmed. Those meetings have gone very well and the process of engaging the communities continues.”

Polela said they had identified some places that the communities could be moved to as government tried to combat the spread of COVID-19.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.