Human Settlements help to rebuild Knysna, Bitou

Friday, June 23, 2017

Pretoria - Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has promised to work with municipalities of Knysna and Bitou to introduce fire resistant building technologies and materials.

This comes after a special meeting between the Minister and Provincial MECs of Human Settlements (MinMEC) to find a lasting solution on housing challenges faced by residents of Knysna and Bitou municipalities as a result of fire.

Minister Sisulu said with the blessing of all human settlements MECs, financial resources have been allocated to fast track the rebuilding of Knysna and Bitou.

"Our immediate response is to ensure that we provide temporary accommodation and that no one lives in community halls or schools. There is a lot of innovative building technologies that can produce temporary structures at a shortest time possible," said Minister Sisulu.

She added that together with the human settlements MECs, they have agreed that going forward, when disaster affects people they will respond together and ensure that they address their challenges.

“This disaster also provides us with an opportunity to work together to build an integrated and inclusionary human settlements-a new Knysna and Bitou where the poor and the rich stay together," the Minister said.

The Minister further directed the department to develop policies and models together with other institutions of government that will ensure that insurances are affordable for the poor.

“We had been considering a policy for everyone that gets a government subsidy house to have insurance to assist during a disaster. This disaster in Kynsna and Bitou has made us realised that there is a need for everyone that owns a house to have insurance.

Minister Sisulu, including Members of Parliament and Provincial MECs of Human Settlements, visited the affected areas on Thursday to assess the damage and formulate a final response on housing challenges faced by local residents.

During the visit, the MinMEC engaged with local municipalities’ mayors and other stakeholders. – SAnews.gov.za

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