People in densely populated areas to be moved to 'safer' places

25 March 2020 - 13:39 By Kgothatso Madisa
As the country prepares for a national lockdown on Thursday night, the government is facing the challenge of providing services in areas that are congested.
As the country prepares for a national lockdown on Thursday night, the government is facing the challenge of providing services in areas that are congested. 
Image: Reuters/Mike Hutchings via The Conversation

People in densely populated areas, such as informal settlements and townships, will soon be asked to move to other government-provided areas.

As the country prepares for a national lockdown on Thursday night to try to curb the spread of coronavirus, the government is facing the challenge of providing services in areas that are congested.

These areas make it impossible for health services, among others, to monitor the spread of the virus and reach people if they need emergency services due to contracting Covid-19.

According to human settlements, water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu, provision of water and sanitation is also a challenge in these areas, which have been identified in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

To counter this, the government has identified areas where it will move them to in the interim.

“The biggest challenge would be when this virus gets into our densely populated areas, and these are the informal settlements. How are we going to be able to trace this and how are we going to be able to avoid the quick spread of the virus?” Sisulu asked.

“We have, with the help of CSIR, used a heat map to identify areas where we have serious conditions and we have identified 29 areas of priority in our informal settlements. These are areas we will need to go in and try to see if it is not possible to de-densify, but also make sure that we provide all necessary sanitation to them.”

Sisulu said they are in talks with provinces that have high-density highly densified informal settlements to finalise plans to move people. on moving people around. “We would like to appeal to the people who live in these densely populated areas to allow us to work with them to try to de-densify these areas,” Sisulu said.


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