R2 billion allocated to upgrade informal settlements in Gauteng

R2 billion allocated to upgrade informal settlements in Gauteng

- R2 billion has been allocated for improving infrastructure in informal settlements in an attempt to fight the growing Covid-19 infections

- Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced the grant on Tuesday

- KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape will also receive a share of the money for their informal settlements

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The government has allocated more than R2 billion to upgrade informal settlements in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19 infections through improved living conditions and better access to water and sanitation.

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu briefed the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on the department's Covid-19 response plan on Tuesday.

Sisulu said the Covid-19 pandemic has had a direct impact on the services they deliver.

Sisulu said:

"We think that the solution that we have found in this particular crisis should be the one that we use. Invest right now in temporary shelter and make sure that as the economy picks up, we use this as a cornerstone of the economy."

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The Minister said construction invariably provides any economy with the necessary boost. This was evident in 2010 when the government was building stadiums.

News24 reported that acting human settlements director general Joseph Leshabane said the R2.4 billion Upgrading of Informal Settlements Programme (UISP) grant will be spent on improving access to water and sanitation in informal settlements.

Meanwhile, Briefly.co.za reported that the City of Johannesburg municipality plans to cut several key infrastructure projects in their budget while simultaneously increasing mayor Geoff Makhubo's salary.

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu

Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu
Source: Twitter

In his presentation, Leshabane said the department's programmes will also focus on improving living conditions to reduce the rate of Covid-19 infection in informal settlements, enable households to observe physical and social distancing and self-isolation.

Leshabane added that they are moving ahead with the resettlement of identified dense and overcrowded informal settlements, including hostels and transitional residential areas.

Gauteng receives the lion's share of the R2.4 billion grant with an allocation of R694 million for 311 informal settlements identified for funding in 2020/21.

KwaZulu-Natal receives R447 million for 179 identified informal settlements while the Western Cape has been allocated R286 million for its 96 informal settlements identified.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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