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.