DURBAN - The 2018 General Household Survey (GHS) conducted by Statistics SA (Stats SA) showed that KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) had the largest household size amongst all provinces with just over a fifth (20.3%) having a household size of six or more members compared with the national average of 13.6%.
The GHS surveys over 21,000 households and has been conducted annually since 2002 so government and other service providers can track key service delivery aspects such as the structure of dwellings, as well as access to services like education, electricity, health and sanitation.
The large household size in KZN is a reflection of the structure of the family living in that household as 40.4% of KZN households comprise an extended family, which Stats SA define as a nuclear core combined with other family members such as parents or siblings. KZN was only second in this category as the Eastern Cape had a higher percentage at 42.0%.
More than one-quarter (25.7%) of South African households consisted of a single person in 2018. Small households inevitably lead to an increase in the number of households that has to receive basic services, contributing to the inability of local authorities to adequately address the demand, so KZN fares better than the North West, where almost a third of households (32.6%) comprise only a single person, while in KZN this category accounts for just over a quarter (26.4%).
KZN however suffers from the highest percentage of children, where at least one parent has died. In KZN this is 16.1% of households surveyed compared with the national average of 11.7%. As fathers have a higher incidence of dying than mothers, this means that KZN also has the highest percentage of households headed by females at just under half (49.8%) compared with the national average of 43.1%.
The large household size is also a factor of how many generations live in the household and once again KZN has the highest percentage of triple generation households at 18.2% compared with the national average of 14.2%. As families and households are profoundly important to the developmental, emotional and cognitive growth of children, the GHS also tracks the different types of Early Childhood Development facilities or care arrangements, and the extent to which children were exposed to stimulation activities such as reading or drawing.
KZN has the highest percentage at 70.1% of keeping children at home with parents or other adult guardians compared with the national average of 49.2%. This may hamper their development as nationally almost half (46.8%) the children aged 0-4 years never read a book or drew (43.1%) with a parent or guardian.