Low-cost houses in Gauteng are to have toilets built "inside" them - to curb the mushrooming of backyard shacks.
The Housing Department's spokesman, Victor Moreriane, said yesterday that MEC Nomvula Mokonyane had relayed this directive to local developers.
"The intention is to frustrate new homeowners who build backyard shacks. When the toilet is inside the house it will make it harder for them to have tenants using it," he said.
Moreriane said though the department understood that many homeowners rented out backyard shacks to supplement their income, the practice derailed the government's plan to eradicate shacks in the province.
"There are other ways to make an income that do not devalue the new houses that government has built to empower communities. These houses have to be treated as an asset, not only as shelters."
Moreriane said the department had spoken to metro councils and had encouraged them to use inspectors to monitor the use of shacks.
"We are aware that some recipients of houses continue to keep shacks at their new houses for the purpose of handing them over to relatives, or to sell them.
"When a house is built we expect the new owner to demolish the shack, not to hand it over for occupation."