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Report lifts lid on state of sanitation services in South Africa

The Department of Human Settlements has published a Report on the state of sanitation services in South Africa. In 2011 the SAHRC found the state of sanitation in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape and in Rammulotsi in the Free State to be in violation of the right to human dignity, privacy and the right to a clean environment. The SAHRC recommended that the relevant departments undertake a study to establish the quality of sanitation in South Africa. This report is the result of that study.

The overall findings of the study are that approximately 11% of households have never received any government-supported sanitation services and are currently without adequate sanitation services. In addition, 26% of households which have received sanitation services no longer enjoy access to adequate sanitation because of the deteriorated state of sanitary infrastructure. In addition, a further 26% of households are at risk of service failure or breakdown. These figures, alongside the 64% of households in informal settlements making use of interim services, paint a picture of “service delivery failure on a massive scale”.

Government has set itself the target of 100% access by 2014. An estimated R 50,306 billion is required to achieve this goal.

The report makes a number of recommendations to be implemented in order to realise the goal of 100% access. These include: legislative amendments to ensure improved oversight, planning, financial allocations and accountability; improved coordination of support programmes to municipalities; and upgrading of municipal staff skills.


Click here to view the report on sanitation services.