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2.2 million people without flush toilets in SA

The Department of Water & Sanitation says 5 provinces have been earmarked for delivery by the middle of 2016.

FILE: The Department of Water and Sanitation says it’s built close to 2.5 million flush toilets since the dawn of democracy. Picture: Tara Meaney/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As people around the globe mark World Toilet Day, the Department of Water and Sanitation says there are about 2.2 million South Africans without access to flush toilet facilities.

According to the 2011 census, nearly 90% of people in Gauteng and the Western Cape use toilets that are connected to a sewage system while more than half of Limpopo residents are still using the pit toilet system.

The department says it's built close to 2.5 million flush toilets since the dawn of democracy.

But spokesperson Brenda Mpitsang says the backlog of delivery almost matches this figure and five provinces have been earmarked for delivery by the middle of 2016.

"We'll focus on the Western Cape, Free State, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and the North West. We will eradicate the bucket system from 88,000 homes."

Mpitsang says people living in informal settlements will have to wait for another two years for government to start building sanitation facilities.

"We will be targeting the metropolitan areas."

The census data shows more than half of the country's population uses flush toilets while close to 6% have no access to any ablution facilities.