The latest results of the non-financial census of municipalities (NFCM) released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) shows that the number of consumer units receiving basic services from municipalities increased between 2013 and 2014.
The highest percentage increase between 2013 and 2014 in the provision of services was recorded for sewerage and sanitation (5,9%), followed by solid waste management (5,6%), electricity (4,6%) and water(3,9%).
The provision of basic water increased by 3,9% between 2013 and 2014 nationally. The highest provincial increase for the provision of water was recorded in Limpopo (6,9%) followed by North West (5,8%), while the lowest increase was recorded in Free State (1,4%).The highest provincial increase in consumer units for the provision of electricity was recorded in Gauteng (10,6%) followed by Mpumalanga (4,5%), North-West (3,5%) and Limpopo (3,3%).
The highest provincial increase for the provision of sewerage and sanitation was recorded in Eastern Cape (12,4%) followed by Free State (7,1%) and Mpumalanga (7,1%), whereas the lowest increase was shown in Western Cape (2,4%).
For solid waste management (primarily refuse removal), the highest provincial increase in consumer units was recorded in North West (16,7%), with Moretele Local Municipality (52 063 consumer units) being the largest contributor to this increase (as they provided the service for the first time during the 2014 financial year). Gauteng recorded the second highest increase at 7,8%.
There were 3,5 million indigent households in 2014, as identified and recorded by municipalities. Out of this, 2,5-million (70,6%) indigent households benefited from the indigent support system for water, while 2,0 million (58,8%) benefited from free basic electricity provided by municipalities.
The report also revealed that 2,1-million (60%) indigent households benefited from the indigent support system for sewerage and sanitation while 2,1-million (59,4%) indigent households benefited from the indigent support system for solid waste management.
The report recorded decreases in three of the four basic services provided to indigent households for free: 495 164 less consumer units received free basic water in 2014 compared to 2013; 163 525 less consumer units received free basic electricity in 2014 compared to 2013; and 56 746 less consumer units received free basic solid waste management services in 2014 compared to 2013. In the case of free basic sewerage and sanitation, there were 43 126 more consumer units that received the services in 2014 than in 2013.
The number of full-time and part-time people (including managers) employed by municipalities increased from 257 186 in 2013 to 261 161 in 2014. There was a drop in the number of funded vacant full-time and part-time posts (including managers) from 50 030 in 2013 to 44 826 in 2014.
The highest vacancy rate, for all municipalities, was recorded in the roads transport department (20%), followed by both the electricity as well as community and social services (18%). The lowest vacancy rate was recorded in the waste management department (11%).