The Western Cape has the highest rate of universal access to improved drinking water sources in the country, says Statistics SA.
At 99.4% the province is closely followed by the Free State at 99.3%, the Northern Cape at 99.1% and Gauteng at 98.6%.
Nationally 92.5% of households have access to improved drinking water sources.
The Eastern Cape recorded the lowest percentage with 85.7% of households there having access.
Stats SA also found that 15% of households nationally still lived more than 500m away from a water source. These households were found mainly in KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
When it came to municipal water supply Stats SA found that the national percentage had risen from 84% to 86% between 2009 and 2015.
Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape and the Free State, had the highest percentages of access in 2015, while Limpopo, the Eastern Cape and the North West recorded the lowest.
Between 2002 and 2015 the Eastern Cape had the highest increase in the percentage of households with access to improved sanitation.
Formal dwellings in the Western Cape and Gauteng were recorded as having the most improved universal access to improved sanitation. Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the North West recorded the lowest.
The number of households living less than 200m away from a toilet facility had increased from 88% in 2009 to 94% in 2015.
Meanwhile, Stats SA found that urban households were more likely to share toilet facilities than rural households.
Research showed that 68% of households in informal dwellings shared toilet facilities, compared to 19% of households living in formal dwellings and 12% living in traditional dwellings.
The highest number of households still using the bucket toilet system was recorded in the Western Cape with 4%. It was followed by the Free State with 2.7% and the Northern Cape at 2.4%.
On a national scale the percentage of bucket toilet system users was 1.2%, however, Stats SA said there was still a large proportion of households living in informal dwellings who claimed they were still using the system.
Households still practicing open defecation – defecating in an area without a designated toilet – were at 4% nationally.
Stats SA found that households in Buffalo City were more likely to practise open defecation than households in other metros across the country.
Stats SA also found a significant correlation between open defecation and diarrhoeal diseases as underlying causes of deaths at district council level.[Source: News24]