Approximately 1,000 temporary residential units (TRU) are expected to be built and completed by the end of June to alleviate overcrowding at Mamelodi hostels.
The hostels currently house around 10,000 people.
The Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, visited the hostels on Thursday afternoon, where she inspected two of the temporary housing units and received 100 water tanks donated by Denmark.
The building of the TRUs at Mamelodi forms part of a larger project aimed to reduce the number of occupants in hostels around the country.
Temporary Residential Units (TRUs) structures being built to reduce the number of occupants in the hostel units. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu is visiting Mamelodi today to inspect the TRUs@GP_DHS @DWS_RSA @LindiweSisuluSA @the_hda pic.twitter.com/JxNUThG8yZ
— Human Settlements (@The_DHS) May 14, 2020
Easing the congestion at the densely populated hostels is another measure aimed at containing the spread of Covid-19.
The Mamelodi hostels, according to residents, are completely dilapidated, and is home to around 10,000 people.
According to the chairperson of the Mamelodi hostels, Daniel Sello, this equates to around 16 people crammed into each room.
Tshwane administrator Mpho Nawa said the plan is to remove around 1,000 people from each block. Willing participants will then be moved into the TRUs, which are being erected on the same property as the hostels.
With the completion date of the project expected to be in June, Sisulu said it was important to begin the project immediately.
“We need to do this as quickly as possible. Our people have been deserving of this for a very long time. It’s not right that they live in these conditions,” Sisulu said.
“We promise we will make sure that you are put in an environment that is habitable.”
Sisulu also reiterated that no one would be forced to move into the TRUs.
Each unit costs around R60,000 to build and the Mamelodi hostel will consist of single and family units, according to Sisulu’s department.
Officials from the South African Human Rights Commission said they would be monitoring the project and its implementation.
Sello further said residents at the hostels were happy about the idea of reducing the number of people living in the rooms. However, they wanted to see the project come to fruition because the government had made empty promises before.
He said, because of the congestion at the hostels, Covid-19 could spread quickly.
Sello added that the hostels were in a bad state – there was no maintenance, and this exacerbated the already poor living conditions of those who call the hostel their home.