Fewer living in shacks

The number of people living in informal dwellings in South Africa has dropped, according to the latest survey released by Stats SA.

It said that in mid-2009, 13.4 percent of households lived in informal dwellings, down on 15 percent in 2007 and 2005 when previous household surveys were done.

Stats SA's deputy director-general Lesedi Dibakwane said at the release of the survey in Pretoria that this year's survey confirmed a number of continuing positive trends related to service delivery.

These included improved access to education services and an uptake of educational opportunities between 2002 and 2009.

The study found that the proportion of youth aged 20 years and older with tertiary qualifications had increased from 9.2 percent to 10.9 percent while functional illiteracy rates had declined over the same period.

Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West and the Northern Cape remained the provinces with the highest illiteracy rates. The highest illiteracy was among women.

The survey found that the number of households with electricity had increased significantly from 77 percent in 2002 to 83 percent in 2009. This had reduced dependency on wood and paraffin for cooking.

In terms of water the study found that those receiving piped water from their local municipalities had increased by five percent since 2004.

Some respondents were, however, not satisfied with the quality of that water. The Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and Kwazulu-Natal (at 19 percent) had recorded the highest percentage of households unhappy with water quality.

On a more positive note; the number of households with no toilets or with bucket toilets had almost halved. The figure stood at seven percent in 2009 compared to 13 percent in 2002.

However, the survey showed that while state housing subsidies had increased the quality of houses was questionable.

At least 16 percent of respondents had said the walls of RDP houses were weak while 15 percent complained about weakness of roofs.

The Western Cape and the Eastern Cape were worst in this regard with more than 30 percent of occupants facing problems of poor construction.

"Maybe this is where the minister of housing should start demolishing houses," Stats SA's deputy director-general Lesedi Dibakwane said at the release of the survey in Pretoria.

The survey also showed that, on average, 20 percent of households had inadequate access to food.

The worst provinces were the Free State (34 percent), Kwazulu-Natal (23 percent), Mpumalanga (22 percent) and the Eastern Cape (21 percent). Limpopo's figure was a mere 12 percent.


Article from: www.iafrica.com