Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke releasing the General Household Survey 2018 in Pretoria on Tuesday. PHOTO: ANA Reporter.

PRETORIA - Limpopo is lagging behind other provinces with regards to access to sanitation and the practice of washing hands after one visits the toilet, according to the General Household Survey 2018 released by Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke on Tuesday.

“Almost two-thirds of South African households have access to flush toilets while 88.6% had access to improved sanitation," Maluleke said while making a presentation to journalists at StatsSA’s Isibalo House in Salvokop, Pretoria.

"Only 1.4% had no access to sanitation. We are saying, despite nearly doubling in relation to access to improved sanitation since 2002, access remains the most limited in Limpopo. The Eastern Cape showed the largest improvements in relation to ventilated toilets.” 

The survey has been used as an instrument to track the progress of development since 2002 when it was first introduced. 

The General Household Survey 2018 shows that while the South African population increased by 1.3% per annum over the period 2002 to 2018, the number of households increased by 2.4% per annum over the same period -- a growth of 48.9% over the period. 

StatsSA noted that since households are the basic units for service delivery, rapid household growth in South Africa will constrain the delivery of basic services. 

More than one quarter of the households consisted of a single person, while 62% of households contained three or less members. 

Among other key findings, the General Household Survey 2018 found that while two-thirds of pupils attend no-fee schools, lack of money remains a major contributor to learners dropping out of school. 

“The percentage of learners that attended no-fee schools increased from 21% in 2007 to 67.2% by 2018. Almost one quarter of learners who have dropped out of school before the age of 18 years however put forward a lack of money (no money for fees) as the main reason. Other reasons included poor academic performance [22.9%], family commitments [7.9%], and a feeling that education is useless [7.5%],” said Maluleke.

The survey also established that housing projects in South Africa are not reducing the percentage of households living in informal dwellings.

“The survey shows that 81.1% of all households resided in formal dwellings in 2018. Although the percentage of households that have received some kind of government subsidy to access housing has increased from 5.6% in 2002 to 13.6% in by 2018, a total of 13.1% were still living in informal dwellings. This could be attributed to the fact that rapid household growth and population relocation is making it very difficult to addressing existing backlogs in the face of fresh demands,” said Maluleke.

The General Household Survey is an annual survey conducted by StatsSA since 2002. It replaced the October Household Survey which was introduced in 1993 and was terminated in 1999. 

The target population of the survey consists of all private households in all nine provinces of South Africa and residents in workers’ hostels.

African News Agency (ANA)