'No more pondokkies'

A total of 8700 human settlement projects are currently underway across the country in a bid to eradicate "ugly little pondokkies" (shacks), according to Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale.

"We are talking about new, good looking houses… no ugly little pondokkies… They need dignified houses," Sexwale told a packed South Africa Conference 2030 which was focused on "rethinking the spatial development trajectory".

The conference was hosted by the Development Bank of SA in Midrand.

Sexwale indicated that houses in Umlazi in Durban, Soweto in Johannesburg, Gugulethu in Cape Town and Mamelodi in Pretoria had small windows.

"All of them are carbon copies of concentration camps in Germany post World War I," he said.

"What I've realised is that big windows change the equation. What do black people do if they want to groom their lives around such a house? They change the windows. It's a small change but it works."

He said throughout discussions, delegates should not ignore talking about shoddy construction companies that had so far stolen R1.3-billion from the ministry by building houses that were falling apart.

The ministry was looking at upgrading thousands of informal settlements per year as the housing backlog was "huge and frightening". It currently stood at 2.2-million units.

He said this could not be blamed on the influx of foreign nationals, but rather on the country's failure to grow the economy's GDP at six percent a year.

Article by: www.sagoodnews.co.za