May 11, 2011 / 2:02 PM / 7 years ago

FACTBOX-South Africa since apartheid

May 11 (Reuters) - Here are some details about various aspects of life since President Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

Fragmentation remains the main legacy of apartheid as its negative effects are still evident 17 years into democracy.


— Prior to 1994, an estimated 40 percent of the South Africa population had no adequate water supply services.

Since 1994, South Africa has made progress towards providing improving access to basic water supply infrastructure for the general population.

— In 1994, only 61.7 percent of households had access to basic water services and this figure has increased to more than 90 percent as of 2010.

— As of 2006, there were approximately 3.3 million people with no access to water out of a total population of around 49 million.

NEW HOMES: — Under apartheid, segregation was mandated by law. Blacks could not live in “white” areas but had to live in townships or in impoverished rural areas know as bantustans.

— Little housing was built for Africans by the apartheid regime. As a result, when the ANC-led government came to power there was only one formal brick house for every 43 Africans compared to one for every 3.5 whites.

— A 1994 White Paper on Housing estimated the housing backlog to be 1.5 million units (urban informal households), with an estimated 720,000 urban sites in need of upgrading and approximately 450,000 people in hostel accommodation that needed upgrading.

— The 1996 Census showed that 1.5 million households lived in informal houses in urban areas and 1.6 million households lived in informal or traditional housing in rural areas.

— In 1999, the Department of Housing estimated a total backlog of 3 to 3.7 million households.

— From 1994 to 2010 the housing backlog has grown from 1.5 million to an approximate figure of over 2.1 million. This increase has meant that around 12 million South Africans are still in need of adequate housing.


— The level of poverty in the white community was measured at 3.6 percent in 2008. While this figure was almost double that of 1994 it must be compared to the poverty figure of about 50 percent for African South Africans - a figure largely unchanged since 1994.

— The measure used here to calculate poverty was an income of below approximately 900 South African Rand ($133.2) a month for an individual or R3,500 for a household of 8 people.

* UNEMPLOYMENT: — The third-quarter official unemployment rate for 2010 has risen to 25.3 percent and the economy has shed about 1 million jobs during the global economic recession that have largely not been replaced due to the high cost of labour in the country.

— Unemployment was fairly low through the 1970’s, although data limitations preclude certainty.

— According to a 2006 study of unemployment at the time of democratic transition in 1994, unemployment was substantially lower than in 2006. A nationally representative survey conducted just before the transition indicated that unemployment was 13 percent.

— Another nationally representative survey in 1995 found unemployment to be around 15 percent. By the end of the decade, unemployment had jumped to 30 percent before declining slightly.


— Electricity accounted for 63 percent of the total energy consumed by the residential sector during 2006, a marked increase since 2001. The remainder of the energy consumed was provided largely by the combustion of wood (15.5 percent), and paraffin (16 percent). The use of coal has decreased to 2 percent.

Sources: Reuters/ here Rights Institute of South Africa/ (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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