By Ndaba Dlamini
Johannesburg - The once uninhabitable and murky City Deep Hostel has been converted into an attractive family space, complete with play grounds for children.
The former men-only hostel, located a few kilometres southeast of Johannesburg's city centre, is now a brightly coloured home to more than 200 families.
Even though work to convert two remaining blocks is still in progress, the change is breathtaking, reports Joburg.org.
Originally designed to contain and isolate a single-sex labour force, in the late 1970s the old hostel became the home of hundreds of municipal workers.
These municipal workers, predominantly men, lived in squalid conditions and the hostel became a health hazard in dire need of repair.
The City of Johannesburg, through the Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco), stepped in, in 2005.
The compound offered a potentially large supply of high-density, low-income rental housing stock, which is in very short supply in the city.