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Sisulu outlines preliminary plan for relocating informal settlements residents

The plan, which has been presented to Parliament, follows undertakings by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that the dwellers would be moved to temporary structures in the coming weeks.

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 has outlined its preliminary plan for the relocation of informal settlements residents to transitional residential units in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The plan, which has been presented to Parliament, follows undertakings by Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu that the dwellers would be moved to temporary structures in the coming weeks.

This is due to their vulnerability to the virus as a result of the high population numbers.

In the plan, which points out areas of focus, a piece of land has already been identified for residents of Stjwetla informal settlement in Alexandra.

While the area has 9,756 households, the number of transitional residential units planned is 2,142.

Other targeted areas in Gauteng are Diepsloot, with some 28,000 homes and Zandspruit with 14,000 households.

The department has also confirmed that a panel of service providers has already been appointed to deliver the transitional residential units as well as shipping containers as mobile homes.

It has further committed to providing personal and household hygiene as well as food relief.

According to the plan, military veterans will also be involved in the implementation of the emergency housing programme, focused on beneficiary administration, social facilitation, mediation and conflict resolution.

The department had formerly said it would identify NGOs to perform this role.