By: Sello Theletsane
Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu today announced plans to build permanent structures in Masiphumelele informal settlement outside Cape Town.
The announcement follows a fire that destroyed more than 1000 shacks, leaving more than 6000 residents homeless.
The announcement also followed rigorous engagement between community leaders, City of Cape Town officials, Western Cape and national Human Settlement Department officials.
Sisulu discouraged the idea of erection of temporary structures, arguing that this amounted to waste as Masiphumelele had, over the years repeatedly experienced fires that destroyed hundreds of shacks.
“We appeal to all those affected to give us time to implement this long-term solution which will result in the building of permanent structures which will be fire-proof,” Sisulu said while addressing affected residents at nearby Ukhanyo Primary School.
Sisulu also announced that residents who had erected structures at a nearby wetland would have to be relocated. “South Africa is a water-scarce country as such we need to protect our wetlands.” Sisulu said a fence would be erected to protect the wetland.
Sisulu said new structures that would be erected are by far better than shacks and would be accompanied by tittle deeds which will be given to beneficiaries.
“We are doing this to show you that we are a government that cares and to prove to you that your lives matter to us,” said Sisulu.