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WC Govt slammed for teaching residents how to build ‘better’ shacks

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In the face of a housing crisis in the Western Cape, the provincial government has been assisting residents to build and improve their informal structures.

The Western Cape government recently launched phase two of their ‘Better Living Challenge’ project that aimed to help residents with self-build skills and knowledge.

The Western Cape Department of Human Settlements was recently criticised by political parties and organisations that said it promoted staying in a shack as ‘acceptable’ and that it was ‘a glorification of people’s poverty’.

The provincial government had put together a 13-part video series that included topics like layout, foundations and building double-storey structures.

Human Settlements MEC Tertius Simmers said they sought to address fire and flood risks and to empower people who lived in informal settlements.

He added that 850,000 people living in informal structures in the province while the housing backlog was close to 600,000.

Simmers said with the funds his department received, they delivered 16,000 to 18,000 housing opportunities a year that, he added, outperformed national government’s targets.


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