Defence minister visits Duncan Village

By Libby Mitchell

South Africa needs to consider high-rise buildings as a housing solution, the defence minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said on Saturday (1 August). 

She was at Gompo Hall in Duncan Village in the Eastern Cape on a ministerial goodwill visit following a fire that destroyed 50 homes there at the beginning of July. 

The minister said “in terms of space you need to go up, like in other countries,” adding that women and children should not wake up in the night with their shack on fire. 

The event, hosted by ARMSCOR and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, aimed to lend a hand to residents of the informal settlement who are in the process of rebuilding their homes and livelihoods. 

Various donations were made by the Ministry of Defence and Military Veterans and ARMSCOR to the families who lost their homes in the fire. 

Asked to comment on claims of heavy handed enforcement of lockdown regulations by SANDF personnel in the province, Mapisa-Nqakula said “of course soldiers have their own way of doing things. They are hard on lockdown. They are in the province in support of the police.”

However, she said there are three structures investigating the complaints and urged patience from the public during the inquiry process and waiting for the outcome. 

The minister said SANDF medical teams were having a positive impact at hospitals around the province and that had been acknowledged by the Minister of Health and the premier of the Eastern Cape. 

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