SA's population grows, says survey

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Pretoria - The South African population has increased from 45.6 million in July 2002 to 48.7 million in July last year, according to the General Household Survey for 2008.

The survey, released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) on Wednesday, was designed to measure specific features of the living conditions of South African households.

The survey started in 2002 and instituted because of a need identified by government to determine the level of development in the country and the performance of programmes and projects on a regular basis.

The survey also found that there has been a general satisfaction with healthcare services across most provinces resulting in a countrywide increase from 87.5 percent in 2002 to 89.1 percent in 2008.

However, the survey found that the users of private health care services were more likely to be satisfied than those who use public services.

The survey also found that black South Africans had the lowest medical aid coverage with only 8.4 percent covered in 2008. Among white people medical aid coverage was at 68.5 percent.

Regarding disabilities, 3.4 percent of the total population was classified as disabled a figure which was higher than in previous years, slightly higher than the percentage recorded in 2002 at 3.1 percent.

Additionally, there was a marginal increase in the percentage of households that found themselves in informal dwellings. This was from 13.1 percent in 2002 to 13.4 percent in 2008.

"When households compared their current dwelling type with their own dwelling type of five years ago, there has been some improvement," the survey found.

Regarding cell phones, this had increased with cell phone ownership having more than doubled between 2002 and last year from 37.6 percent to 79.1 percent. Meanwhile, the number of those owning television sets increased from 59.3 percent in 2002 to 72.4 percent in 2008.