Free Water and Electricity | Western Cape Government

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Free Water and Electricity


Since government announced its intention of providing free basic water, electricity and free sanitation, service delivery across the country has changed since 1994 and millions more have access to basic services. 

According to StatisticsSA  by 2013 89.9% of South Africans had access to piped water, 85.4% had access to electricity and 77.9% had access to improved sanitation. 

Although this is a National decision, water, sanitation and electricity are provided by local authorities and so the actual provision of these free basic services is the responsibility of your local municipality.
Our water, sanitation and electricity are provided by local authorities

Free Watertap-running-water.jpg

The aim ultimately is to provide poor households with a basic supply of 6 000 litres of safe water per month free of charge. This might vary from municipality to municipality and you should contact your municipality directly to find out exactly what the free basic water service is that they provide.

You are required to pay for water that is used over and above the free supply.

For more information, contact your local municipality or contact:
Simpiwe Mashicila
Department of Water Affairs and Forestry
Tel: 021 946 3666
Fax: 012 323 3877


Following from the successful implementation of the Free Basic Water programme, the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry developed the Free Basic Sanitation Implementation Strategy. 

While it remains national policy to provide basic sanitation free to the poor, this is constrained by the financial viability of the water services authorities that are responsible for implementing this policy.

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Free electricity services are specifically targeted at poor households. These households will be provided with an small amount of electricity for free but they must pay for any electricity that is used over the basic service level.

The proposed amount of free electricity is 50kWh per household per month for a grid-based system. This is the approximately the amount of energy needed for basic lighting, running a small black and white TV and a small radio, basic ironing and basic water boiling through an electric kettle. 50Wp will be provided per non-grid connected supply system for all households connected to the official non-grid systems.

Users who have pre-paid electricity meters will be able see when the free electricity is used up and will be able to buy more electricity at their own expense. Users with credit meters will not be able to see easily when they have used up their units. They will be charged for additional use at the end of each month.

Free Basic Electricity will be phased in from July 2003, after Municipalities have received their funds from the

Department of Provincial and Local Government.

For more information, speak to your local municipality or contact:
The Director Electricity Policy Analysis and Regulation
Department of Minerals and Energy
Private Bag x59, Pretoria, 0001
Tel: 012 317 9519
Fax: 012 317 9539



Provided by:
Government Body:
64 17702
The content on this page was last updated on 19 September 2017