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Lindiwe Sisulu claims the media grossly misinterpreted her recent speech on informal settlements

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Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Lindiwe Sisulu, has stated that the media misinterpreted her recent speech, in which she attempted to find a way to de-densify informal settlements.

In a tweet on Sunday, 29, March 2020, Sisulu stated, “The media has grossly misinterpreted parts of my speech from the press briefing yesterday. I was citing how we need to find a way of de-densifying our informal settlements.” She went on to explain that the media’s attempt at devaluing her sentiments has strayed from her points of empathizing with the underprivileged, who are incapable of practicing social distancing.

Her speech, delivered on Saturday, 28 March 2020, aimed to provide support to South Africans in low-cost housing, who have no choice but to be situated close to their neighbours. She touched on of the issue of poor sanitation in such areas, which could possibly exacerbate the spread of the coronavirus.

She further stated, “Social distancing can be practiced by those who live a middle-class life, but the poorest of the poor – the most vulnerable, live in such close proximity that ‘social distancing’ does not apply to them. So we need to find a way to make their spaces more open.” She went on to explain that it would be difficult to deploy ambulances to these areas, as the possibility of infection is high, which could put a strain on the essential service.

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Sayushka Naidoo
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