The GHS survey also found the number of households using bucket toilets or without sanitation facilities declined from 12.6% in 2002 to 3.1% in 2017. The sharpest decline was in the Eastern Cape.
Stats SA said the number of households with access to improved sanitation had increased from 61.7% in 2002 to 82.2% in 2017.
“Access to proper sanitation is important and must ensure that human rights and human dignity are preserved. The provision of toilets must also provide for the requirements of women and girls using public and community toilets,” wrote Stats SA.
“Shared toilets allow households who do not have toilets in their individual homes access to toilets. However, they do present a myriad of problems which point to health and safety issues in communities.”
Unhygienic toilets can lead to cholera and diarrhoea.
Washing your hands can help control infectious diseases, but 17.9% of households said they could not wash their hands because they did not have water.
About six out of every 10 people in the world do not have a toilet at home or one that hygienically disposes of waste, according to the World Health Organisation and the UN Children’s Fund. This translates to about 4.5bn people across the globe.