City of Tshwane tops in supplying free water to some residents
Similarly, Prince Albert and Swellendam in the Western Cape are the two smaller municipalities in the country providing maximum free basic water to their residents.
This was revealed by Statistician-General Risenga Maluleke when he released the annual 2018 non-financial census of municipalities in Pretoria yesterday.
The report focused on the minimum amount of basic levels of services provided on a day-to-day basis and is sufficient to cater for the needs of poor households.
These include 6kl of water free per household per month, 50kw of free electricity per household, subsidised sewerage and sanitation, as well as subsidised solid waste management.
Maluleke, however, said municipalities in the country used different mechanisms to determine if their ratepayers qualify for free basic services.
“The free basic services to consumer units decreased in all four services between 2017 and 2018 financial years. The breakdown of figures in the provision of free basic services by municipalities show that 661275 fewer consumer units received free basic water in 2018 compared to 2017.
“Also, 600815 fewer consumer units received free basic sewerage and sanitation in 2018 compared to 2017, while 246349 fewer consumers received free electricity in 2018 compared 2017, and 160 970 fewer consumers received free solid waste management in 2018,” Risenga said.
He also said in 2018, there were 3.6 million people who were registered as indigents, saying 2.8 million of them had access to free basic water while 2.0 million had access to free electricity. “The report further reveals that 1.8 million indigent households benefited from support system of sewerage and sanitation while 2.3 million benefited from solid waste management provision,” Maluleke said.
In his report, Maluleke said Tshwane was the leading metro in the country which still provides 60% of its residents with free basic water, followed by eThekwini, which has a provision of 59%.
Prince Albert Local Municipality (100%) and Swellendam Local Municipality (97%) and two district municipalities - Amajuba District (99%) in KwaZulu-Natal and Alfred Nzo District (100%) in the Eastern Cape - provide free basic water to their residents.
Tshwane is also one of two metros alongside City of Cape Town which provided subsidised waste management services to its residents. While Cape Town tops the list of metros with 57%, Tshwane is close with 52%.
Msinga Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal has a 100% provision, while Blouberg Local Municipality in Limpopo has 92%.
Ekurhuleni, together with Tshwane, are the only two metros in the country which provide at least two of the four municipal free basic services for free.
Ekurhuleni tops the lists in the provision of free basic sewerage and sanitation, followed by the City of Cape Town.
Ekurhuleni is the highest with 65% and Cape Town 63%. Two smallest Northern Cape municipalities of Siyathemba in Prieska also provides 64% while Khai-Ma in Pofadder has a 72% provision rate.
Ekurhuleni is also one of only two metropolitan councils in the country including Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality in East London that provides free electricity. Buffalo City tops the list with 49% while Ekurhuleni is the runner-up with 43%.
Other free electricity services are provided by Mossel Bay Local Municipality and Swellendam Local Municipality - respectively each 100% free electricity, while West Coast District also in the WC receives 17% while UMkhanyakude District in KwaZulu-Natal 0%.
Maluleke also applauded municipalities across the country for the drastic drop in the use of bucket system since the advent of democracy in the country since 1994. He said that in 2014, the country had a record number of 85718 households using the bucket system and five years later, the figures had dropped to 42612.
“This is a drop by 50.3%,” Maluleke said.
He said only 37 municipalities in the country provided bucket toilets in 2018 and at least 10 municipalities contributed most to the national total.
Among them, he listed Mangaung Metro as well as Ngwathe, Metsimaholo, Setsoto and Nale Local Municipalities in the Free State, Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth and Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape, Sol Plaatje in Kimberley, Dawid Kruiper and Siyancuma in the Northern Cape.