South Africa Needs R45bn to Fix Sanitation Crisis


The Quality of Sanitation in South Africa, a report discussed in parliament on Wednesday, stated that about 11% of South African households have no sanitation facilities and government needs to invest R44.5bn to solve the crisis.

Besides the 11% with no services, the report also found:

  • 26% of households had no infrastructure in the area or the infrastructure was about to collapse.
  • 317 of South Africa’s 826 bulk waste treatment facilities are on the brink of collapse.
  • Municipalities in 2011/12 only spent about 30% of their capital budget allocations with very little being spent on sanitation.
  • Municipalities have a skill shortage in the sanitation area and maintenance and planning is going undone.

This report comes after the presidency was asked to investigate the status of sanitation in the country after communities in Khayelitsha and Rammulotsi complained over toilet facilities in 2011. These toilet facilities, or lack thereof, were found by the South African Human Rights Commission and the Cape Town High Court to be violating these communities’ human rights.

Achmed Vawda, who presented the report, warned parliament that if these problems aren’t solved, South Africa should expect further protest actions.

Nomhle Dambuza, ANC MP and chairperson of the human settlements committee, said that work has already begun on looking into ways of solving this sanitation crisis and that a unit that specialises in sanitation is required to look into the issue as a priority.

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