Western Cape municipalities continue to lead the rest of the country with regard to selected aspects of service delivery such as sewerage and sanitation, according to the 2019 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities results.Picture: African News Agency
Western Cape municipalities continue to lead the rest of the country with regard to selected aspects of service delivery such as sewerage and sanitation, according to the 2019 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities results.Picture: African News Agency

Western Cape municipalities lead in service delivery – Stats SA

By Mwangi Githahu Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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Cape Town - Western Cape municipalities continue to lead the rest of the country with regard to selected aspects of service delivery such as sewerage and sanitation, according to the 2019 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities (NFCM) results.

The NFCM report keeps track of all 257 municipalities, providing data on service delivery, indigent households, bucket toilets and the size of the municipal workforce.

Releasing the results, Stats SA Deputy Director-General Joe de Beer said: “According to 2019 estimates, 12.5 million consumer units received sewerage and sanitation services from municipalities across the country, and 18.7% of these consumer units had access to free basic sewerage and sanitation.”

De Beer said: “Western Cape showed the highest proportion of consumer units that benefited from free basic sewerage and sanitation at 47.9%, followed by Eastern Cape with 32.5% and Northern Cape at 20.1%. The province with the lowest proportion was Limpopo at 7.2%, followed by Mpumalanga with 7.6% and North West with 8.8%.”

“There were 2.3 million consumer units receiving free basic sewerage and sanitation from municipalities in 2019 compared with three million consumer units in 2018,” said De Beer.

Sewerage and sanitation services are described in the survey as “provision of flush toilet connected to a public sewerage system, or conservancy tank, bucket toilet, pit latrine/toilet with ventilation pipe, pit latrine/toilet without ventilation pipe, other toilets such as ecological toilet such as urine diversion and enviro loo.”

Stats SA Deputy Director General Joe de Beer. Picture supplied

According to the survey, bucket toilets are on the decline across the country, but some municipalities continue to struggle.

De Beer said: “The number of consumer units using a municipal-supplied bucket toilet decreased slightly from 42,622 in 2018 to 42,434 in 2019. This follows a general trend of declining numbers since 2013 when 100,610 consumer units used a bucket toilet system.”

He said: “Municipalities often provide bucket toilets as a temporary measure while they develop improved sanitation.”

Meanwhile, explaining the delay in the release of the results, De Beer said: “Owing to the Covid-19 lockdown, this publication has been delayed since August 2020 due to poor response rates brought about by lockdown regulations.”

Informal settlements campaign organisation, Asivikelane’s spokesperson Sikhander Coopoo said: “Most metro budgets for informal settlements are allocated to large long-term upgrading projects rather than to responsive provision of taps and toilets. But these projects are failing to deliver. Almost half of the residents have been promised upgrades. A quarter were told this more than five years ago.”

Coopoo said: “In Cape Town, residents of Ses’ Khona in Philippi received a few taps and temporary toilets as well as a refuse container, while residents of Azania, Khayelitsha received new water tanks while their taps and toilets were cleaned three times per week.”

Commenting on the survey, local government expert Paul Kariuki said: “We can no longer pretend that our political leaders do not know what is happening at the local government level given the increasing civil protests.”

Kariuki said: “In the areas that scored poorly, frustrations are bound to continue and even worsen if nothing substantial is done to address service delivery challenges and turnaround local government in general.”

Cape Argus

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