Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu has just concluded a meeting with the Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Cllr Dan Plato. The purpose of the meeting was to synchronize National and City’s response to the backyard dwellers and the land destitute.

The City of Cape Town presented to the Minister its Human Settlements plans aimed at responding to COVID-19 and its broader response to human settlements challenges in the City.

The Minister welcomed the plan of the City and committed her full support and presented an overall plan that seeks to cover the various land for shelter needs for the people of the Western Cape.

Despite these plans, both the Minister and Mayor acknowledged that they are inadequate to respond to the insurmountable need for well-located land and human settlements for those who are in desperate need of shelter.

Both leaders committed to a more comprehensive plan that accommodates both the immediate land and long-term needs in a more proactive fashion.

“This requires our concerted and collective effort to bring up a holistic approach and to minimise incidents of illegal invasions and evictions. We must emphasize that whatever plans we are putting in place are for those who are genuinely distressed and not opportunists. We will screen all those invading land parcels to see if they are in distress and assist them accordingly. However, those who have broken the law will have to face the consequences,” said Minister Sisulu.

“We further appeal to landlords who have been providing shelter to our people not to evict them. We all understand that the impact of COVID-19 epidemic has resulted in people losing their jobs and has hit already destitute communities particularly hard. Human Settlements being at the forefront it is imperative that we find a balance in alleviating the plight of bona-fide and responsible tenants with landlords; we need to practice Ubuntu and make arrangements with those whose income security has been affected”, added Sisulu.

Today’s meeting with the Mayor comes a few days after the Minister had convened a meeting with community leaders of Khayelitsha and its surrounding areas to understand the causes of the recent unrest in the City. Minister has also been consulting with various Ministries and other stakeholders in order to address human settlements challenges in the city which recently resulted in land invasions and evictions.

The Minister will consult the National Coronavirus Command Council (NCCC) on the planned and proposed interventions before making announcements to the public.

Enquiries: Please contact Yonela Diko, Ministry Spokesperson on 076 724 3062

Press Release Date: 
Tuesday, July 28, 2020