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News & Press: 2018 News Items

It's all in the figures

Saturday, 23 June 2018  
Posted by: Bert vd Heever
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General Household Survey (GHS) released 21 June 2017

Benjamin Disraeli said that there are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. But sometimes statistics can tell us a story.

The latest General Household Survey (2017) tells me a story of progress and of hope, that despite all the politicking and corruption, over 80% of households now live in formal dwellings and that 97,7% of households in metros now have access to tap water.

You will be able to garner interesting facts from the survey that could be useful in business strategy. Did you, for-instance, know that there are 15,61million cell phone owners compared to only 1,34million land-line owners? That the most people dissatisfied with the build-quality of their RDP houses live in the Western- and Northern Cape? That there are more people connected to electricity in the Northern Cape than in any other province? Another surprising statistic is that only 8,4% of our population speak English inside the household

The survey contains numerous graphs showing how things have changed over the past 15 years. Our dependence on electricity is illustrated in the figure below. Almost 78% of households now use electricity to prepare their meals compared to about 58% in 2002.  Over the same period the use of wood and paraffin has reduced dramatically while the use of gas has doubled.

Energy used in cooking

The GHS is an annual household survey conducted by Stats SA since 2002. The survey is an omnibus household-based instrument aimed at determining the progress of development in the country. It measures, on a regular basis, the performance of programmes as well as the quality of service delivery in a number of key service sectors in the country.

"The GHS covers six broad areas, namely education, health and social development, housing, households’ access to services and facilities, food security, and agriculture. This report has three main objectives: firstly, to present the key findings of GHS 2017. Secondly, it provides trends across a sixteen-year period since the GHS was introduced in 2002; and thirdly, it provides a more in-depth analysis of selected service delivery issues." (From the forward to the latest edition)

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Written by Bert van den Heever - 23 June 2018