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Department responds to findings on water services

The Department of Water and Sanitation has acknowledged the findings by Statistics South Africa on the delivery of the basic services of water and sanitation.
Department responds to findings on water services
© Kidsana Maimeetook –
According to the 2015 General Household Survey (GHS) report released by Statistician General Pali Lehohla on Thursday, 2 June, 89.4% of South African households had access to piped water in 2015.

74.9% of Eastern Cape households had access to piped water, a substantial improvement from 2002 when only 56.3% of households in the province had access to piped water.

“The department acknowledges the decline in levels of satisfaction compared with 2005 when 76.4% of users rated the services as good. The department will continue to work with municipalities to better the 62% of households that rated the quality of water-related services they received as ‘good’,” the department said.

The report said an estimated 45.8% of households had access to piped water in their dwellings in 2015. A further 27% accessed water on site, while 13.9% relied on communal taps and 2.7% relied on neighbours’ taps.

The department said its work is well cut out, as the Constitutional right to access safe water by South African citizens remains paramount.

“We are cognisant of the fact that as this latest survey indicates, households’ access to water is improving, yet 4.4% of households still fetched water from rivers, streams, stagnant water pools and dams, wells and springs in 2015.

“This figure indicates that in the period under review, the country experienced a decrease of more than five percentage points from 9.5% of households that had to access water from these sources in 2002.

“This shows that the department is intent on reducing the number of those that have been unserved,” said the department.

Sanitation provision improves

It said it was also aware that access to dignified sanitation lags behind access to other services.

Nationally, the percentage of households with access to ‘RDP-standard’ sanitation increased from 62.3% in 2002 to 80% in 2015.

The Western Cape with 93.3% and Gauteng at 91% have the majority of households with access to adequate sanitation. In comparison, only 54% of people in Limpopo and 65.8% in Mpumalanga had adequate access to sanitation.

While appreciating the decline in the percentage of households that continued to live without proper sanitation facilities between 2002 and 2015 - from 12.3% to 4.7% - the department said it appreciates the amount of work that still needs to be done.

“Provision of dignified sanitation should and must impact positively on the livelihoods of all South Africans, especially women and girl-children. This sector of the populace cannot continue to be marginalised,” the department said.

SOURCE is a South African government news service, published by the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS). (formerly BuaNews) was established to provide quick and easy access to articles and feature stories aimed at keeping the public informed about the implementation of government mandates.
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