Increased access to water for S Africans: survey

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pretoria - Eighty-four percent of South Africans had access to piped water in 2010, compared to 78 percent in 2004, Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said on Thursday.

Releasing the 2010 General Household Survey, Stats SA said that there had been an increase in the number of households that receive piped water from their local municipalities.

"There has been a positive upward trend across the provinces," said Kefiloe Masiteng, the Deputy Director-General for Population and Social Statistics.

The rating of the quality of water services improved from 2009's 58 percent to 64 percent, but still lower than in 2002 at 76 percent.

The Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Mpumalanga had the highest percentage of those who are unhappy with their water quality.

There was also a decrease in the number of households that use the bucket system.

When coming to education, 32 percent of 0 - 4-year-olds attended early childhood development institutions in 2010, with Gauteng and the Western Cape having the highest rate of attendance.

Additionally, 72 percent of persons aged seven to 24 years attended educational institutions, with the main reason for not studying being a lack of money to do so. This was particularly evident in KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape.

Ninety-four percent of those who are studying, according to the results of the survey, were in public schools, while 90 percent of those in public schools received food at school. Of those quizzed in the survey 25.2 percent said the teacher strike, which took place following the hosting of the 2010 Soccer World Cup, formed part of the problems faced by pupils at schools.

In South Africa, 61 percent used public clinics, while 24 percent went to private doctors and nine percent accessed healthcare facilities at public hospitals. Fifty-five percent of the respondents using public health care facilities were very satisfied with services rendered, compared to 92.1 percent of those using private health care facilities.

In 2010's survey, 33 022 dwelling units were sampled, while 25 635 households were analysed. Interviews for the survey were held between July and September 2010.

When coming to household ownership, 58.1 percent of South Africans fully owned their homes, while 20.6 percent were renting. Of those living in informal dwellings, the figure was at 13 percent compared to 2009's 13.4 percent.

"Shack settlements have been stubborn," Statistician General Pali Lehohla said.

On whether South Africa was on its way of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the statistician general said on some aspects, South Africa was doing well.