Original Research

To what extent does socio-economic status still affect household access to water and sanitation services in South Africa?

Bruce Rhodes, Tamlyn McKenzie
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 11, No 1 | a173 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v11i1.173 | © 2018 Bruce Rhodes, Tamlyn McKenzie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2018 | Published: 31 July 2018

About the author(s)

Bruce Rhodes, Department of Economics, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Tamlyn McKenzie, Department of Economics, College of Law and Management Studies, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


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Abstract

It is publically acknowledged that South Africa has recently met its millennium development goal of halving water and sanitation services (WSS) backlogs. However, significant deficits remain, especially in the case of sanitation. These shortfalls are unevenly distributed across provinces and can be tracked by socio-economic status. This article seeks to examine and identify the socio-economic factors that may affect poor WSS provision in South Africa. Using the 2014 South African General Household Survey, socio-economic indicators and access to WSS were analysed. Descriptive statistics and multivariate analysis indicate that access to WSS is largely determined by province, race and geographical location. It appears that higher quality levels of sanitation are less accessible relative to piped water access. Identifying these socio-economic factors affecting WSS provides obvious policy direction and better-targeted water infrastructural development.

Keywords

sanitation; drinking water; probit analysis; socio-economic status; development policy

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