The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) acknowledges the findings of Statistics South Africa on the delivery of the basic services of water and sanitation as per the latest General Household Survey (GHS) released on Thursday, 2 June 2016.
The statistics indicate that 89, 4% of South African households had access to piped water in 2015. This is so notwithstanding the 74, 9% of Eastern Cape households with such access. It is important to realise that this still represents as STATSASA put it, “a substantial improvement from that of 2002 when only 56, 3% of households in this province had access to piped water”.
The DWS acknowledges the decline in levels of satisfaction compared to in 2005 when “76, 4% of users rated the services as good”. The DWS will continue to work with municipalities to better the 62% of households that rated the quality of water-related services they received as ‘good’.
With as the report says: “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 work of the department is well cut out. The Constitutional right to access safe water by South African citizens remains paramount.
We are cognizant 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 DWS is intent on reducing the numbers of those that have been un-served.
Access to dignified sanitation is another primary ideal for the DWS. We are also aware that access to dignified sanitation lags behind access to other services. The related increase in numbers in this regard, i.e. where nationally, the percentage of households with access to ‘RDP-standard’ sanitation increased from 62, 3% in 2002 to 80% in 2015. As indicated the more urbanised and probably industrialised provinces, namely the Western Cape with 93, 3% and Gauteng at 91% have the majority of households with access to adequate sanitation. In comparison, only about half those in Limpopo at 54%, with just below two-thirds of those in Mpumalanga at 65, 8% 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, decreasing from 12, 3% to 4, 7%, the DWS appreciates the amount of work that still remains in this stead.
Provision of dignified sanitation should and must impact positively on the livelihoods of all South Africans, but more especially the women and girl-children. This sector of the populace cannot continue to be marginalized.
For more information contact: Department of Water and Sanitation Media Liaison Director Sputnik Ratau on 082 874 2942