The Census 2011 results show that great strides have been made in improving the lives of many South Africans, President Jacob Zuma said while receiving the results in Pretoria today.
“It is heartening to note that the proportion of people who completed higher education has increased from 7.1 percent in 1996 to 12.3 percent in 2011.
“It is evident from the Census 2011 results that great strides have been made in improving the lives of many South Africans,” he said.
Zuma said access to basic services such as piped water; electricity and refuse removal have more than doubled over the period 1996-2011.
However, he said much remained to be done to further improve the livelihoods of people especially in terms of significant disparities that still exist between the rich and poor.
“We have already outlined the vision of this better South Africa in our country’s National Development Plan, 2030.
“This plan outlines what we need to do as a collective to eliminate poverty as well as to reduce inequality and address the problem of unemployment,” he said.
By 2030, President Zuma said each community would have a school, teachers who love teaching and learning, a local library filled with a wealth of knowledge, a librarian, a police station with respected and upright police, and a clinic with nurses who love caring for people.
Zuma said government departments must now use the Census 2011 information wisely in planning for the extension of these services mentioned in the National Development Plan.
Trends in school enrolment and overall educational attainment of the population have improved since 1996.
While the data show disparities across the population groups, the results showed a steady increase among Black Africans from 70.7 percent in 1996 to 74.5 percent in 2011.
Although there was an improved access to water at 9 out of 10 households who have access to water, the 2011 census also showed that there were still gaps that needed to be addressed.
The usage of electricity as the main source for cooking has increased from 45 percent to 73 percent between 1996 and 2011.However, the use of paraffin still remains at 7.5 percent of all households as their main source of energy.
“We know the dangers of this type of energy, especially for those of us who live in shack settlements, constituting almost 13 percent of households in South Africa,” Zuma said.
Data tells us that 85 percent of all households in South Africa use electricity for lighting.
The provision of ablution and sanitation facilities remains a priority for this government. The results reveal that the use of the bucket toilet system has been halved (from 3.9 percent in 2001 to 1.9 percent in 2011).
Eight in ten households in Gauteng and Western Cape have access to flushing toilets.
On the contrary, much effort still needs to go into providing toilet facilities to some communities in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal.-SAnews.gov.za