More with houses, running water

12 March 2008

The proportion of South African households living in informal dwellings decreased from 16.4% in 2001 to 14.4% in 2007, while 74.4% of households now have access to piped water compared to 72.1% in 2001.

South Africa’s population increased from approximately 44-million to approximately 48-million people over the same period.

This is according to the latest data, released on Tuesday, from Statistics South Africa’s 2007 Community Survey, the biggest survey conducted by Stats SA since the 2001 census, involving research among 250 000 households across the country.

The latest release provides data at municipality level on type of housing, type of energy use, and water source among South African households. It also gives estimates of South Africa’s population growth.

While the proportion of South African households living in informal dwellings had decreased, and the proportion with access to piped water (within 200 metres of the household) had increased, some municipalities still had a lot of work to do, according to Statistics SA.

Three provinces – North West (23.3%), Gauteng (22.7%) and Free State (18.4%) – were above the national average of 14.4% for proportion of households living in informal dwellings, the survey found.

The provinces with the lowest percentages of households with access to piped water were Limpopo (56.3%), the Eastern Cape (54.1%) and KwaZulu-Natal (63%).

The survey found an increase in the percentage of households using electricity for lighting (from 69.7% to 80%), for cooking (from 51.4% to 66.5%) and for heating (from 49% to 58.8%) between 2001 and 2007.

The survey also indicated that South Africa’s population is growing by about 1.5% annually, increasing from approximately 44-million people in 2001 to approximately 48-million in February 2007.

South Africa’s smallest province, Gauteng, is still the most populous with about 10-million people, while the Northern Cape still the least populous of the country’s nine provinces, with just over 1-million people.

SAinfo reporter and BuaNews

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