SA has 3.6-million poor households that need state support

Statistics SA has revealed that almost 4 million households in places like in Alexandra have to depend on the state for survival.
Statistics SA has revealed that almost 4 million households in places like in Alexandra have to depend on the state for survival.
Image: Supplied

Gauteng has the highest number of people living under indigent conditions in SA.

This is according to Stats SA’s 2018 service delivery data from municipalities presented by statistician-general Risenga Maluleke on Thursday in Pretoria.

There are 863‚221 indigent households identified by municipalities in high-density Gauteng. The sparsely populated province of the Northern Cape has the lowest with 73‚831.

"There were 3.6-million indigent households as identified by municipalities (the whole of South Africa). Out of this total‚ 2.8-million indigent households benefited from the indigent support system for water‚ while 2-million benefited from free basic electricity provided by municipalities‚" Maluleke said.

Stats SA classified access to health‚ water‚ electricity‚ and other basic services in its 2018 non-financial census of municipalities‚ released on Thursday. It refers to a "consumer unit"‚ defined as a tap or source for a service‚ not a household.

According to the report‚ more and more consumer units are receiving paid services but there was a decline in free basic services.

Western Cape showed the highest proportion of "consumer units" that benefited from free basic sewerage and sanitation (49.3%)‚ followed by Eastern Cape (39.9%) and Gauteng (31.5%). The province with the lowest proportion was Limpopo (6.7%)‚ followed by Mpumalanga (8.4%) and North West (9.8%).

Access to clean water has increased‚ with 9.5-million consumer units having access to water inside their yard while at least 2.7-million consumer units have water within 200m from their yards.

Indigent households are entitled to six kilolitres of free water per household‚ monthly.

The bucket toilet system has also decreased from 60‚557 units to 42‚612.

"New informal settlements emerge. The municipalities have a challenge: they can either sit and ignore or provide the service quicker through the bucket system. The idea with informal settlements is that they are temporary‚ and the solution is also temporary‚" Maluleke said.

Limpopo recorded a 2.9% decrease in the provision of solid waste management between 2017 and 2018.

"Mogalakwela local municipality and Elias Motsoaledi local municipality mainly contributed to the decrease in the provision of solid waste management due to lack of resources and insufficient trucks‚" the report read.


Source: TMG Digital.

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