"There is no set figure to the number of households to be relocated."
Human settlements ministry spokesperson McIntosh Polela said that though the relocation is urgent, it requires a sensitive approach,
"Historically, our communities have resisted being moved. As such, we are careful that they be consulted and assured that they are going to be moved not far from the current place of their residence."
Sisulu last week announced that 17 land parcels have been identified for the "de-densification" project.
Departmental spokesperson Xolani Xundu said this week the department is reluctant to provide too much information on the land parcels so as to avoid land occupation before the sites are ready to be lived on.
Of the 17 land parcels, about four are owned by private companies and individuals and the rest by municipalities. Xundu would not say how much the department was planning to spend on purchasing the land.
People in the affected areas who spoke to the Sunday Times this week were either unaware of the plans or said they had heard talk, but no details from the government.
In Alexandra, Johannesburg, with a population of 700,000, grandmother Nancy Myaka's home has been a refuge for her daughter and grandchildren during lockdown.
"If it would help people then I wouldn't mind relocating for a little while. But Alex is full of desperate people and I may just come back to an empty house," said Myaka.
The prospect is also fraught for Jacqueline Makongolo, who has lived in her Alexandra home for more than two decades.
"I have six children and kitty who live with me. We are complying with the lockdown, but I can't move and leave the cat behind," she said.