Pretoria - Challenges around housing delivery and building sustainable human settlements dominated a special forum on Tuesday with President Jacob Zuma, premiers and MECs.
The President told the gathering, of which included several cabinet ministers and the leadership of South African Local Government Association, that the focus on human settlements is a key national priority and has to undo the apartheid legacy.
According to Zuma, the concept of human settlements should not only be just about building houses, but restoring human dignity as well. He said investment in human settlements was an investment in the future.
"Habitable and decent settlements promote human dignity and the stability of our communities."
Zuma, who also paid a surprised visit to Sweetwaters, south of Johannesburg on Monday, said he was shocked at what he found.
He said "there was nothing sweet about Sweetwaters", which has been a home to many in the last 40 years, as there were no proper sanitation facilities and electricity.
The President said government should prioritise places like Sweetwaters, adding that he wanted answers from both the provincial and national governments.