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Big drop in bucket system

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In 2014 the country had a record number of 85?718 households using the bucket system - five years later the figures stood at 42?612.

The old bucket system. File image.

STATISTICIAN-GENERAL Risenga Maluleke has applauded municipalities across the country for the drastic drop in the use of the bucket system since the advent of democracy in 1994. 

This comes as the government has set targets to eradicate the bucket ­system in rural areas over the next couple of years.

According to Risenga, in 2014 the country had a record number of 85 718 households using the bucket system. He said five years later the figures told a different story, and stood at 42 612.

“This is a drop by 50.3%,” he said, as he released the annual non-financial census of municipalities in Pretoria recently.

Risenga said that only 37 municipalities provided bucket toilets in 2018 and at least 10 municipalities contributed most to the national total.

Among them, Risenga listed Mangaung metro, Ngwathe, Metsimaholo, Setsoto and Nale Local Municipalities in the Free State, Nelson Mandela Bay in Port Elizabeth, Kouga Municipality in the Eastern Cape, Sol Plaatje in Kimberley, and Dawid ­Kruiper and Siyancuma in the Northern Cape.

Figures released yesterday showed that two leading Gauteng metropolitan councils – Ekurhuleni metro and the City of Tshwane – topped the list of the country’s 257 municipalities which continued to provide at least two of the four basic municipal services for free to ratepayers.

The four free basic services include six kilolitres of water free per household per month, 50 kilowatts of free electricity per household, subsidised sewerage and sanitation, and subsidised solid waste management.

However, Risenga said that municipalities in the country used different mechanisms to determine if their ratepayers qualified for free basic services or not.

The breakdown of figures in the provision of free basic services by municipalities, he said, showed that 661 275 fewer consumer units received free basic water in 2018 than in 2017.

Up to 600 815 fewer consumer units received free basic sewerage and sanitation last year, while 246 349 fewer consumers received free electricity compared to 2017.

Risenga said last year there were 3.6 million people who were registered as indigent; 2.8 million of them had access to free basic water, while 2.0 million had access to free electricity.

In his report, Risenga highlighted that the City of Ekurhuleni and the City of Cape Town were the highest on the lists of metropolitan councils in the country that provided free basic sewerage and sanitation. Ekurhuleni was the highest with 65%, and Cape Town followed with 63%. 

Of the two smallest Northern Cape municipalities, Siyathemba in Prieska also provided 64%, while Khai-Ma in Pofadder had a 72% provision rate.
When it comes to providing free water, Tshwane was touted as the leading metro in the country.

– Staff Writer