Housing 'has to improve'
An investment in human settlements is an investment in the future, President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday.

"Habitable and decent settlements promote human dignity and the stability of our communities," Zuma told premiers and MECs at the Presidents Co-ordinating Council in Pretoria.

The Council was convened to focus specifically on human settlements.

Zuma said apartheid laws had rendered black people foreigners in urban areas and they were forced to settle in designated locations and temporary residences.

"For those in rural areas they were made to belong to various Bantu stands with no plan to develop roads, transport, electricity, sanitation, running water or any other infrastructure," he said.

He said the focus on human settlements as a key national priority was to undo this apartheid legacy.

His Cabinet would examine the human settlements delivery agreement and discuss solutions to problems that affect delivery.

Zuma said all the programmes put in place must ensure they restore the dignity, self esteem and pride of the people.

"The living conditions have to improve," he said.

Zuma's bitter visit to Sweetwater

On Monday President Jacob Zuma made a surprise vise to Sweetwater informal settlement, south of Johannesburg.

Times Live reported that Busisiwe Mlotshwa got down on her knees, broke into sobs and clutched Zuma's hand when he paid a surprise visit to her home.

Mlotshwa (50) an unemployed mother of six, struggled for words, eventually telling Zuma: "Nothing is going my way and all I am waiting for is to die," Times Live wrote.

The Sweetwater settlement is a sprawling collection of informal homes and buildings about 20km from the Johannesburg CBD. The settlement doesn't have electricity or the neccessary supply of water.

There is no sign of low-cost government houses being built in the area, the online publisher reported.

Mlotshwa told Zuma: "My daughter does not listen to me because an unemployed mother has no voice. One day she came from school, changed her clothes and decided to go to town to sell her body.

"She has turned to prostitution and I am told that taxi drivers are sharing her in town. She told me she would rather be a prostitute than stay at home."

Zuma told the residents of Sweetwater he had decided to visit after receiving repeated complaints on his presidential hotline about the conditions in which they were living.

His spokesperson, Zizi Kodwa, said a decision was taken not to alert the local authorities about the visit because they did not want them to prepare the community in any way, Times Live reported.

Article from: www.iafrica.com