Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is considering her options regarding an article published in today’s Sunday Times newspaper. The Minister wants the newspaper to withdraw misleading information suggesting that she has ordered mass removals of people from informal settlements. She has neither done so nor given such an indication.

Minister Sisulu has been very clear and consistent. She is working with NGOs that are close to the informal settlements to guide government on what needs to be done about the vulnerability of people in extremely densely populated informal settlements. The Minister is currently in consultation with the NGOs, and the discussions have not yet been concluded – nor have any plans been taken to the Command Council.

The only thing that has been done by the Minister’s office so far is to issue an appeal to Municipalities and private property owners to suspend evictions, as long as the country continues to work on mitigating the spread of COVID-19. The Sunday Times is therefore misrepresenting governments intentions and creating hysteria.

“My office made it clear to the newspaper that we are treating the process of re-blocking with the sensitivity that it requires and that we did not wish to create unnecessary panic,” said Minister Sisulu.

Enquiries: Please contact McIntosh Polela, Ministry Spokesperson on 079 563 1625

Issued by the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

Press Release Date: 
Sunday, April 12, 2020