Asivikelane 9 shows that providing clean taps and toilets in informal settlements could be the most effective way of reducing Covid-19 infections.
Informal settlements are hotspots for infection because they don’t have enough taps and toilets, and these communal facilities are not cleaned often enough. While all metros have responded to the immediate crisis, Asivikelane results point to longer term service challenges. For example this week we changed our water question to ask if there was enough water for all residents in the settlement, and as a result scores for Cape Town, Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni dropped from previously higher levels.
The good news is that 86% of residents said that they own a face mask. However, almost 80% of residents indicated that they do not have enough soap or hand sanitiser. Combined with inadequate access to water in Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Cape Town, this poses a significant hygiene and health risk.
While services have started to improve in non-metro hotspots like Emalahleni, Msunduzi and Witzenberg, our non-metro traffic lights still show significant problems.
In short, informal settlement communities need more taps, more toilets and more regular maintenance and cleaning of facilities if we are to have any chance of curbing the spread of Covid-19 infections across South African cities.