W Cape ‘is the top service provider’

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Cape Town -Sixty-four percent of people in the Western Cape live in the City of Cape Town, while the next largest municipality is the Cape Winelands, with 14 percent.

The least number of people, one percent of the province’s population, live in the Central Karoo.

The stats were presented by Statistician-General Pali Lehohla at the provincial handover of the 2011 Census results in the city on Monday.

Lehohla said the province was the fourth largest by population with 5.8 million people, up by 29 percent - the largest growth in the country - from 4.5 million in 2001.

Coloureds make up 2.8 million, 1.9 million are black African, 910 600 are white and 58 000 are Indian/ Asian. In 2001 there were 2.4 million coloureds, 1.2 million black Africans, 832 901 whites and 45 039 Indian/Asians.

Seventy percent of the province’s population is of working age, 15 to 60 years old, while the proportion of older people is higher than the rest of the country.

“With such a young population, we have a demographic dividend, which could also be a poisoned chalice... we must invest in education. The lack of education traps people and does not allow mobility... income has increased across all races... [but] the story of income, in large part, is the story of education,” he said.

Premier Helen Zille said the data “showed that the Western Cape is a top performer in the provision of basic services”.

“The Western Cape also has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and the highest number of people with access to education. The Western Cape government is working hard to ensure that the province is a place of growing opportunities and excellent service delivery and the results of this effort show in the census data.”

Other results showed that:

* 99.1 percent of Western Cape residents have access to piped water inside and outside the yard;

* 91.1 percent have refuse removal;

* 93.4 percent have electricity;

* 96.9 percent have toilet facilities;

* 97.3 have access to schooling; and

* 29.3 percent of the working population is unemployed, the lowest unemployment rate in South Africa.

“The population growth figures, partly due to net in-migration, suggest that we will need more resource allocation and stronger focus on informal settlement upgrading to ensure decent basic living conditions for as many people as possible. The census data will inform our policies and our budgets,” Zille said.

She also said the growing strain on limited resources and increasing energy demand would force society to start moving from “a lifestyle of conspicuous consumption to one of essential consumption”.

“We all need to recycle more, we need to use more public and non-motorised transport and we need to stop water waste that happens through tap and pipe leaks,” she said.

Stoves a must-have:

The average annual income in the Western Cape is R143 460.

There are 1 313 637 brick-and-mortar houses across the Western Cape and 320 363 informal and traditional houses.

An average family of three or four live in a four-roomed house, which they own, but are still paying off the bond.

Stoves are high on the list of priorities with most households and 1.47 million people owning one.

More people own cellphones than fridges: 1.452 million households have at least one cellphone, but there are only 1.315 million fridges in the province.

More than 95 percent of children aged between seven and 14 go to school, but only 14.4 percent of adults in the province have post-school qualifications.

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Cape Argus


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