Johannesburg - Government has spent more than R12 million on a piece of land in Sweetwaters, a move that will lead to the provision of 4 000 new houses for families in the area.
Sweetwaters, whose residents live in dire conditions, has been declared a special project by government.
Money has also been budgeted to address the sewerage challenges in the area.
Addressing residents during his second visit to the area, President Jacob Zuma said the sad story of Sweetwaters was an example of the need to change the way government has been operating for the past 15 years.
Zuma, who addressed the community in Zulu said the area would never be the same again. You will have decent houses, tarred roads and basic social services, Zuma told the cheering residents, who had braved the cold weather to listen to him.
The residents also complained about a lack of proper roads, unemployment, and a lack of youth development projects in their area.
Zuma said their concerns are known and that all fractions of government have partnered to address them.
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane who was there, together with the Housing Minister, said the fact that all fractions of government were represented indicated government's seriousness and commitment to changing the lives of the community.
Earlier, the president handed over three new fully furnished homes that were built by African Musicians against HIV and Aids (Amaha). Among the beneficiaries was Smangele Ngomane, an HIV positive mother, who lived with eight children in a cramped shack.
Zuma also vowed to continue paying future surprise visits to this and many other areas in the country. A team consisting of residents will be formed to monitor progress, but Zuma called on residents to report slow progress in government service delivery to the Presidential Hotline.