With more than 70% of households in the Northern Cape now having access to flush toilets, and 82% of households having access to piped water, it is an indication that the NC provincial government is making great strides in the provision of basic services, says Premier Zamani Saul.
WITH more than 70% of households in the Northern Cape now having access to flush toilets, 2% above the national average, and 82% of households having access to piped water, it is an indication that the Northern Cape provincial government is making great strides in the provision of basic services.
This is according to Northern Cape Premier Dr Zamani Saul, who was speaking during the handover of the 2022 Census results.
Additionally, there has been an increase from 85% of households in 2011 to 93% of households in 2022 using electricity as a source of energy, but Saul said that there is still much to be done.
The first-ever digital census was handed over by Statistics South Africa Deputy Director-General, Yandiswa Mpetsheni at the Ruth First Auditorium at the Northern Cape legislature.
Mpetsheni said Covid-19 brought major disruptions in the collection of census data.
“A multi-mode data collection approach was adopted in Census 2022, namely the use of computer-assisted personal interviews, telephonic interviews and self-enumeration through the internet. The multi-mode data collection approach became an advantage in conducting census during the Covid-19 pandemic environment that affected key census phases, including geography frame finalisation and data collection,” she said.
Mpetsheni added that natural disasters also affected the census data collection.
“Climate change issues such as flooding in some parts of the country also affected Census 2022 data collection and other enumeration-related activities conducted between February and May 2022,” she said.
Out of all nine provinces in the country, the Northern Cape showed the lowest increase in population.
“The population of South Africa increased from 51.7 million in 2011 to more than 62 million in 2022. The population in the Northern Cape increased from 11 million in 2011 to 1.4 million in 2022.”
Mpetsheni said that although there was an increase in access to piped water, almost half of households in the country have suffered water interruptions.
She said the Northern Cape was at the top with the highest number of proportional water interruptions.
“More than 48% of households reported experiencing water interruption for two or more consecutive days. At 65.8 %, the Northern Cape had the highest proportion of reported water interruptions followed by the North West.”
She added that early childhood development (ECD) attendance by children in the Northern Cape also leaves much to be desired.
“About 39.8% of South African children aged 0 to 4 years were not attending any ECD programme. More than half of the children in the Northern Cape were not attending an ECD programme.”
Saul said the census data serves as a compass for local government to identify areas where improvement has been made and where work is required.
“The Census 2022 results should prove to be very useful for planning as it will illuminate many of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and should inform our journey to 2030 and our long-term plan, namely the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP) and the Provincial Spatial Development Framework (PDSF).
“It will also prove to be a useful tool in informing the District Development Model (DDM) One Plan as we move forward to create better lives for our people in all corners of this beautiful Province.
“It is important to note that the Census tells us a lot about our most valued asset namely our people, in other words, population development. The Census 2022 is also an important tool to assist with understanding the current trajectory in our Province.
“It also assists in determining the professionalism of the state, of state capacity and the effectiveness and efficiency of state institutions and systems. Local government needs to engage with statisticians and researchers when planning and developing policies. Statistics, including the qualitative analysis thereof, alone are not enough to inform provincial priorities and our plans,” he said.
Saul urged parents to pave the education path for their children from an early age.
“When we started this Sixth Administration we articulated a vision for our Province as, ‘Building a Modern, Growing and Successful Province’. We defined a modern, growing and successful province, among others, as being at the cutting edge of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and one that prioritises quality education, training and retraining of the youth.
“We are therefore greatly pleased that the results show a positive trajectory in several key indicators, including education, where the total number of the population aged 20 and up with no schooling declined. Furthermore, it is important to note that 43.3% of children aged 0 to 4 have access to our early childhood development programmes and are reported to be attending some sort of educare centre.
“We do however still make a plea to parents to enrol their children in an ECD centre before school age to give your child a head start in life.”
Saul added that the provision of basic services to more people has positively benefited the lives of the residents of the Province.
“Increased access to water, electricity, sanitation and decent housing are evidence of the fact that there have been definite improvements in the quality of life of our people. These improved service delivery statistics also find expression in the positive and improved PFMA audit outcomes recently released by the auditor-general during her audit roadshow.
“There is no doubt that this democratic dispensation is on a positive trajectory in changing the lives of our people. As we forge ahead, the lessons from the Census 2022 data will be our guiding light, improving government’s performance through co-ordination, strategic leadership and integrated planning, monitoring and evaluation,” Saul concluded.