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My houses will rock - Sexwale

By Katlego Moeng | May 26, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

"POVERTY sucks. Humanity and human settlements should rock."

"POVERTY sucks. Humanity and human settlements should rock."

This was the message coming from Minister of Human Settlements Tokyo Sexwale yesterday after a lengthy meeting at the Johannesburg Securities Exchange in Sandton with all stakeholders in his department.

He said his mission over the next five years was to "wage a war against poverty (because) at the end of the day no government should be building houses for people".

"I want to lift the 2,2 million people on the housing backlog out of poverty so we do not need this ministry anymore," said Sexwale.

The chairperson of the portfolio committee, chairperson of the South African Local Government Association and all nine MECs held a meeting with Sexwale.

This was ahead of today's three-day Cabinet lekgotla.

Talking about his acceptance of his new role in government, Sexwale said: "I have spent the last 10 years creating a lot of wealth for big companies and rich individuals, and it's now time for me to once again familiarise myself with the people I know best - the poor."

He said the JSE was a symbolic place as he hoped to rope in the top 300 companies on the stock market to lend a helping hand to government in achieving its goals.

Sexwale insisted that his ministry not only had a new name but was going to adopt a new approach to housing, "making it more human-orientated".

Referring to shoddy building practices, he said he had inherited a mess and was facing litigation about things he knew nothing about.

He said the government would be moving away from the match- box RDP style of housing, which he called Uno houses, as this was one of the things he went to prison for fighting against.

"Housing development is about infrastructure development," said Sexwale, adding that human settlement was about people having "their homes near clinics, schools, roads and taxi ranks".

Highlighting the problems he had inherited, Sexwale said he was going to flush out "fly-by-night contractors, lack of spending, bad building material, theft and lack of planning and coordination.


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