SA engineers offer free services for informal settlement 'de-densification'

A group of black-owned engineering companies has offered site supervision and project management services for free to help Lindiwe Sisulu's efforts to 'de-densify' townships and provide water to all.
A group of black-owned engineering companies has offered site supervision and project management services for free to help Lindiwe Sisulu's efforts to 'de-densify' townships and provide water to all.
Image: Gallo Images

A group of black South African engineers has come together to offer its services for free to the government in a bid to create temporary settlements to fight the spread of Covid-19.

Human settlements, water and sanitation minister Lindiwe Sisulu announced last month that the government would be “de-densifying” informal settlements across the country in a bid to fight the virus.

Across the world, physical distancing, sanitising and regular handwashing are recommended as the best methods to fight the spread of the virus.

However, when President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21-day lockdown compelling residents to stay at home, concerns were raised over the large number of South Africans who live in shacks that have no running water.

Sisulu said her department would now “de-densify” informal settlements and buy all water tanks in the country to provide for, among others, communities with no easily available water.

Speaking to SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE on Monday, the engineers' spokesperson, Stephen Poya, said the group had decided to volunteer its services.

He said there was a network of black engineers across the country and he spoke to those in Gauteng on Friday to ask about their availability to help with the project.

“The motivation is that if we don’t come forward, we will have no country to go back to after Covid-19,” said Poya. “So we can either sit at home and not support the government in its initiatives or come forward and support it as patriotic South Africans so that ultimately the government can move quicker in dealing with this issue.”

He said the longer it takes for SA to curb the spread of the virus, the longer it will take for the economy to recover.

The work the group will be doing will be site supervision and project management.

Companies that will be involved in the project include MJT Consulting, M Kona Consulting, Kimopax (Pty) Ltd, Umtongata Engineering and Paul & Partners Engineers & Quantity Surveyors.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.