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Non-Financial Census of Municipalities, 2020

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Department of Statistics South Africa

20 July 2022



uKESA Librarian 3


South Africa

The key findings of the Non-Financial Census of Municipalities, 2020 indicate that the number of consumer units receiving services from municipalities increased between 2019 and 2020 and that the sector of service provision with the greatest increase was sewage and sanitation. The increase was 4.3%, and encouragingly bucket toilets provided by municipalities to households increased by 4 696 (11,1%) consumer units from 42,434 to 47,130 between 2019 and 2020 financial years.


Except for electricity services, the Free Basic Services (FBS) provided to consumer units decreased in all other services between the 2019 and 2020 financial years.


According to 2020 estimates, there were 3,6 million indigent households as identified by municipalities, an increase of 6,4% from 2019 financial year. According to the statistics provided, not all households benefited from the indigent support system for electricity, sewerage, sanitation and water. There was a shortfall in access to free basic services that ranged between only 2.7 million indigent households receiving free basic water services and only 2,0 million indigent households receiving free basic sewerage and sanitation. In relation to access to electricity and solid waste management through the indigent support system, the number of households that benefited were 2.1 million and 2.4 million, respectively.


This indicates that just over a million indigent households on average did not benefit in some way from the support system designed to provide access to free basic services.


The implication is that in the time taken between the development of this report and the data provided, there have been increases in the number of indigent households that need access to free basic services.


This publication is directed towards the following major goals:


  • Assists in monitoring the progress made with regard to the implementation of service provision, free basic services and poverty alleviation as national priorities.
  • Provides baseline non-financial information from those institutions classified as municipalities in terms of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act, 1998 (Act No. 117 of 1998).
  • Provides information that can serve as a framework for policymakers and other stakeholders for planning, as well as monitoring and evaluating the performance of municipalities.
  • Allows national and provincial governments and other stakeholders to analyse the actual services provided by municipalities.
  • Makes data available for use by researchers, organisations and individuals.


Future planning would need to include addressing the shortfalls highlighted in this report as well as develop interventions that meet the basic service needs of all municipalities for short- and long-term consumer unit requirements.  


Abstract based on source. 


Website References

Basic services



Human settlements



Service delivery

Solid waste

South Africa

Statistical analysis

Water and sanitation

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