Affordable houses for farm workers

Alfred Moselakgomo

Alfred Moselakgomo

Living conditions of farm workers in Mpumalanga are set to change for the better after the provincial housing department promised to provide them with affordable houses.

The housing department yesterday committed itself to "return the dignity of farm labourers who have been staying in sub-human conditions for the better part of their lives".

"Processes are under way to continue negotiating with farmers to either sell or allocate parts of their land for providing housing for the betterment of the farm workers," said MEC Candith Mashego-Dlamini.

She said a total of 340 farm worker houses for this financial year will be built in Mbombela, Nkomazi, Thaba Chweu, Umjindi, Govan Mbeki, Msukaligwa, Delmas, Emalahleni and Steve Tshwete districts at a cost of R16million.

"The lengthy processes involved regarding the availabi- lity of land for building the farm worker houses and the environmental impact assessment (EIA) processes delayed the commencement of the programme last year," she said.

"Development areas and sites as well as beneficiaries have been identified, and the EIAs have already been started at Nkomazi, Thaba Chweu, Umjindi Govan Mbeki, Lekwa and Msukaligwa municipalities.

"This would ensure that the portions donated by the farmers to the farm workers would be fully surveyed for future deve- lopment," said an upbeat Mashego-Dlamini.