SA encloses open toilets
South Africa's Free State government has enclosed more than 1600 of its 1800 open toilets in the Moqhaka municipality in Viljoenskroon, Times Live Reported.
The ANC-led provincial government was embarrassed in May - ahead of the local government elections - when the media exposed the open toilets in Rammulotsi.
This was after the ANC had publicly rebuked and dragged to court the DA-led City of Cape Town over open toilets in Makhaza, Khayelitsha.
Initially the Moqhaka municipality had more than 600 unenclosed toilets, but Free State Premier Ace Magashule, who visited the area yesterday, said the figure had increased when other residents destroyed their toilets, hoping to get new ones.
ANC secretary in the province Sibongile Besani said "leading to the elections we were faced with concerns about open toilets.
"The ANC government has responded and out of the 1800 toilets we are left with only 158. We are proud of that, it speaks of the commitment we have to our people."
The Free State faces severe sanitation problems, with another toilet scandal having erupted in Harrismith, where the Maluti A Phofung municipality was recently caught trying to sell small serviced stands with toilets to people who qualify for free houses from the government.
Several other municipalities in the province still use the bucket system, which the government had promised to end by 2007.
Magashule promised to build 68 new houses by December for people who live in two-roomed houses.
"Patience is the mother of success. We will build 68 houses by the end of this year. All those two-roomed houses will be destroyed and we will build better houses."
Magashule handed over four rebuilt houses. The province had demolished the houses last year because of safety issues.
Owner Lucia Maleshoane said: "I'm speechless and have no song to express my joy. I'm so grateful."