The numbers are out and although some people are better equipped to analyse the findings which Statistics South Africa released on the 30th of October 2012, the figures reflect everyone in the country.
Ultimately, the 2011 Census shows a clearer picture of what South African households look like. It’s also able to answer questions such as; are South Africans better off today than they were a decade ago? Is the government working towards making sure everyone in the country has basic necessities, in order to live in dignity as stipulated in the constitution?
Based on those findings, this is what we now know.
There is more land in South Africa.
The national boundary shifted over the Indian Ocean in KwaZulu Natal to cater for the Isimangaliso Wetland Park. Several provinces have also changed sizes since 2001 due to municipal boundary changes. Merafong no longer finds itself a part of the North West and Umzimkulu, previously in the Eastern Cape, now falls into KwaZulu Natal.
There are more people in South Africa.
In 1995, before lifting the Rugby World Cup trophy, Captain Francois Pienaar told a local journalist, “We didn't have 60,000 fans behind us today; we had 43 million South Africans." That number has grown considerably with the country’s population now sitting at 51 770 560.
Gauteng is the place to be.
Between 1996 and 2011 the province’s population has grown from 7.6 million people to 12.2 million, making it the most populated province in the country.
Want to fit in? Learn Zulu.
Out of the country’s eleven official languages, Zulu is the most used, with over 22.7% people quoting it as their home language
More South Africans have access to water and electricity at home.
73.4 % of South Africans have access to piped water in their homes, even though only 49.4% people are catered for in the Eastern Cape.
84.7% of homes countrywide have electricity as a source of energy. That figure is higher in the Western Cape, with 93.4% of people having access to electricity in their homes.
The advancement of technology has created access opportunities.
Lots of homes still don’t have internet access, let alone computers, however the popularity of smart phones has allowed those who can’t afford a computer, to tap into the World Wide Web. 64.8% of the nation doesn’t have access to the net but cell phones account for 16.3% of those able to get on the internet.
It’s not just about the number of schools available but the quality of education.
Perhaps this highlights the country’s so-called ‘education crisis’. According to research during the 1930’s, 3% of the country’s black population had a grade 3 education. Fast track to the current results and they show an average of 8.7% of the population haven’t received an education at all, while 12.3% have managed to obtain a higher qualification after matric.
Bringing home the bacon.
A large part of the nation is still grappling with unemployment, with black households bringing in the least amount of income on an annual basis. They average R60 613 compared to their white counterparts who are sitting at around R365 134.
A woman’s work.
Perhaps the most disadvantaged of the country’s population, are the women. Although the annual income of most households has more than doubled in the past ten years, women-headed households earn just over half of what their male counterparts bring in. Even in the workplace they rank lower than their counterparts, with their labour absorption rate only reaching 28.8% versus their white male counterparts (ranked the highest) at 75.7%.
Even more competition to worry about.
In 1996 there were about 19 520 887 men in South Africa. There are now 25 188 791, which shows a rapid increase in the amount of males in the country’s population as compared to the steady increase shown in the number of women. Those numbers grew from 21 062 685 in 1996, to 26 581 796 last year.
While the figures give the government, businesses and the country as a whole a better idea of the population’s make-up and needs, it remains to be seen just how South Africa’s 51.7 million citizens lives will now change for the better.