Today's Labour News

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newsEngineering News reports that Human Settlements Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi wants to convert old and unused government buildings into residential properties for government employees.

Speaking at the Inaugural Built Environment Indaba on 5 April, she said this would be part of an effort to do away with apartheid spatial planning by bringing workers closer to their places of work or to existing economic opportunities. As these buildings were primarily located in the hearts of major metropolitan areas, a renewed focus was being placed on the rejuvenation of the inner cities to create more residential accommodation. Kubayi said the project, which was currently in the conceptualisation phase, would begin by providing residential space for government employees first. She explained that she was working with Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Sihle Zikalala to identify government-owned buildings within the inner cities of major metros with the intent of converting them into residential apartment blocks. “Our first targets are Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban. In Port Elizabeth, we've already done one through the Social Housing [programme] within the inner city, but there are quite a number that we want to increase. The focus will be in these densely populated areas,” Kubayi indicated.

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