Johannesburg -The first batch of 1 000 toilets were handed over to residents of the Sicelo Shiceka informal settlement in Midvaal, the Gauteng local government and housing department said on Thursday.
"Gauteng MEC for local government and housing Humphrey Mmemezi handed over the first batch of 1 000 toilets after visiting the area last Tuesday," said department spokesman Motsamai Motlhaolwa.
Malope Ntsani, 39, who lives in the area, would no longer have to monitor her children when they go to the toilet - which was, until now, an open pit.
Mmemezi committed to provide the toilets - in the hotly contested Democratic Alliance-led municipality - after a walk-about in the area.
The ANC has vowed to win back the municipality in the upcoming local government elections.
"I realised after the walk about in the area that there are no toilets and people use nearby bushes and open pit toilets to relieve themselves.
"I made a commitment that we will get funds so that we can buy toilets for the community. There are also only nine taps for the community of 4 000 shacks," he said.
The department had secured R5.7m to provide the 1 000 toilets which would be cleaned twice a week.
"We can't allow municipalities to deprive people of basic services," he said.
He said the delivery of the toilets had nothing to do with the May 18 polls, and further promised to provide 438 houses for the residents of the informal settlement.