State’s mass relocation plans come to life in Covid-19 fight

More than 21‚000 families are set to be moved from 29 informal settlements across the country as the government tries to stop the spread of coronavirus.

The government is seeking to reduce congestion in shantytowns. Image: Thulani Mbele

The removals are expected to begin in the next few weeks‚ starting with informal settlements in Gauteng‚ Western Cape and Eastern Cape‚ Sowetan reports.

Sowetan has learnt that in Gauteng‚ informal settlements that will form part of the first batch of removals are in Atteridgeville and Mamelodi in Tshwane‚ Alexandra and Diepsloot in Johannesburg‚ Ivory Park near Tembisa‚ Duncan Village in Eastern Cape‚ and Devon in the Western Cape.

Stephen Poya‚ from a consortium of engineers who are assisting the department of human settlements with the mass relocations‚ said a housing development agency had identified land where people would be moved to.

He said people would not be moved too far from where they are now living‚ as they took into consideration aspects such as work and schooling.

He said they would‚ preferably from Friday‚ start the construction by building roads and installing water infrastructure before moving on to build temporary houses.

Poya said: “But the whole idea is to make sure that there is a proper layout of the settlement in terms of the township‚ so that it is laid out properly with roads and services and then make sure that there is water and sanitation.”

Poya said the people who would be moved are those who were going to be relocated anyway. Because of the risks related to coronavirus‚ the process the government had planned years back was accelerated.

By: Kgothatso Madisa

Source: TMG Digital.

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