HC Deb 27 January 2004 vol 417 cc283-4W
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what measures are in place to provide the poorest families of South Africa with(a) water, (b) power and (c) health facilities. [150343]

Hilary Benn

Since the democratic elections in 1994, the South African Government has made extending services to the poor a priority. Their recent review of progress over the last 10 years concludes that much has been achieved while recognising that more remains to be done.

Since 1994, 8.4 million people have gained access to water, and the government has introduced a Free Basic Water policy under which poor households are entitled to 6,000 litres of water per month free of charge. 3.8 million households have been connected to the electricity grid and the Free Basic Electricity policy entitles poor households to 50 kilowatt hours of electricity per month free of charge. Free access to primary health care has been introduced and investment in health infrastructure has increased significantly.