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Free State Human Settlements Department Builds Over 500 Shacks In Harrismith Worth R12 Million

epa02735968 South African woman warm themselves in the early morning sun outside a shack in Masiphumelele, an informal shack settlement in Cape Town, South Africa, on 16 May 2011. Housing and service delivery to poor areas are the major issues facing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its opposition parties as South Africans head to the polls 18 May 2011 to cast their ballots in the local government elections. The ANC is expected to loose ground on oppostion parties in these elections seen as a barometer to the changing political landscape in Africas most successful democracy. EPA/NIC BOTHMA

The Free State Human Settlements Department has built over 500 shacks in Harrismith, east of the province.

The department says the shacks have cost more than R22 000 each, which includes the relocation and a toilet per household. The cost of the shacks is over R12 million.

The shacks will house residents that were relocated from informal settlements.

Residents say they were told that it was part of government’s COVID-19 strategy to create social distancing by moving them to the area in April.

“I’m just happy here we have our own stands. Our problem is only water and electricity. I’m good here because where we are coming from it was an informal settlement,” says a resident.

“The problem I’ve got is that they are moving people from their shacks back to other shacks. What’s the difference, I don’t see the need, that’s what I fail to understand, look at their portable Jojos. And then they are expecting our votes,” says another resident.

“I’m not feeling good at all because our councillor promised us two rooms but when we arrived here we didn’t get that. We need to get all the services. They say they were told that it’s part of government’s COVID-19 strategy to create social distancing,” says a resident.

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