West Rand emergency housing put up, Sisulu takes aim at media

Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has praised her department for erecting these 70 new houses in record time. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Residents of Ikemeleng on Johannesburg's West Rand have been given temporary living structures after four years of living in tents.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the Human Settlements Department to build the new structures until a permanent solution is found.

READ: Level 4 lockdown: Moving house permitted

When asked why it took government four years to intervene, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu pointed the finger at media.

"Why did it take you four years to discover? You are the media, your job is to bring to the attention of officials of society some of the hazards of the way people are living.Why are you chasing stories that will give you the necessary popularity? This is what you should be concerned about. How are our people living? This is something that you should have brought to our attention a long time ago," said Sisulu.

The department says cramped living conditions have made it difficult for the community to adhere to lockdown regulations like social distancing.

The Public Protector will now monitor conditions at the settlement to ensure government’s commitments are honoured.

Ikemeleng residents have also been the subject of a dispute between various spheres of government about who is responsible for them.

All they've wanted is shelter.

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