Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister, Des van Rooyen has welcomed the 2015 Non-Financial Census of Municipalities (NFCM) report, released by Statistics South Africa today. “We believe the Back to Basics programme, instituted by Cogta in 2014, has had a positive effect on service delivery. The NFCM report by Stats SA provides further evidence of this,” said Minister van Rooyen.
Among the key findings of the report are that the number of consumer units receiving services from municipalities increased between 2014 and 2015. The highest percentage increase from 2014 to 2015 in the provision of services was recorded in solid waste management (5,3%), followed by electricity (4,3%), sewerage and sanitation (4,2%), and water (2,5%). (A consumer unit is a service delivery point at which services are billed, though it may service more than one household, as in a block of flats or a communal tap)
Indigent households also benefitted greatly from the Free Basic Services provided by municipalities. Free Basic Services involves the provision of six kilolitres of water per household per month; 50kwh of electricity per household per month; an average of R50 per household for water and sanitation services; and a further R50 per household for solid waste management.
A total of 2,4 million (67,8%) indigent households benefited from free water services. Free basic electricity was provided to 2,2 million (62,8%) indigent households. The report also disclosed that 2,1 million (58,7%) of these households benefited from the indigent support system for sewerage and sanitation. While a further 2,1 million (57,6%) indigent households benefited from the indigent support system for solid waste management. A total of 75 738 indigent households benefitted from free basic alternative energy, in the form of a solar home system.
The NFCM report also indicates that there has been a decrease in the number of bucket toilets provided by municipalities, from 85 718 in 2014 to 80 119 in 2015. Gauteng has eliminated the use of bucket toilets, reflecting a 100% decrease. Municipalities in Mpumalanga showed a 98% decrease, with Eastern Cape at 18% and Western Cape at 16%. Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal do not provide bucket toilets.
Municipalities also proved to be an important source of employment. One of the key pillars of the Back to Basics programme is building institutional capacity. This includes ensuring that administrative positions are filled with competent and committed people whose performance is closely monitored. The number of people employed by municipalities increased from 270 714 in 2014 to 279 109 in 2015. Importantly, of the 278 posts of mayors & executive mayors in SA, 38% were female.
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