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Women to get state house in case of divorce - Sisulu

By admin
29 October 2014

A law amendment is in the pipeline to ensure that if a couple in a free government house get divorced the house goes to the wife, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday.

A law amendment is in the pipeline to ensure that if a couple in a free government house get divorced the house goes to the wife, Human Settlements Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said on Tuesday.

"That is how our policy should read," Sisulu told Parliament's portfolio committee on human settlements after a briefing on the first 100 days of her second stint in the portfolio.

"In 2006, we were involved in a women's build in Gauteng and after that we had an imbizo, and we came up with an idea that I had hoped in my second coming would have crystallised into policy, where we agreed that the house belongs to the man and the wife for as long they're married.

"When they get divorced the house belongs to the woman. That is our policy. So the man picks up his jacket and gets out," she added.

The minister said her thinking was informed by the fact that mothers were the primary caregivers for their children.

"The wife stays because the wife is indeed responsible for the children."

Sisulu suggested the policy had not yet found its way into law because the department had been "presided by men".

She said if a wife died the house would go to the husband, on condition the children were also considered beneficiaries and that the house accrued to them if he remarried.

"If he finds somebody else, he gives the house to the children and goes to the other woman."

Sisulu served as housing minister from 2004 to 2009. The portfolio was then given to Tokyo Sexwale before she returned to it earlier this year.

She told Sapa the provision on divorce would be enshrined in upcoming amendments to the Housing Act. She hoped in a year it would be on its way into law books.

In the meanwhile, her department would implement it as policy, she said.

- SAPA