/ 10 July 2008

Medical aid coverage lowest among black South Africans

edical aid coverage is lowest among black South Africans, with only 7,4% of individuals covered, and highest in the white population, with a 66,5% coverage, Statistics SA said on Thursday.

In the general population, 79,7% of those who were ill or injured consulted a health worker, according to the General Household Survey for 2007. The survey has been conducted annually since 2002.

More individuals who used public-sector healthcare facilities were satisfied with the service they received in 2007 (87,6%) than in 2006 (84,2%) and in 2002 (81,6%).

In the private sector, satisfaction levels increased slightly from 95,35% to 96,5% between 2002 and 2007.

The percentage of individuals attending an educational institution increased slightly from 32,6% to 33,7% between 2002 and 2007.

The percentage of children — aged four and below — attending an educational institution increased from 7,6% in 2002 to 16,6% in 2007.

The percentage of five-year-olds attending educational institutions increased from 40,1% in 2002 to 60,4% in 2007, whilst the percentage of learners in the six-year age group increased from 70% to 87,7%, Stats SA said.

The percentage of individuals with no education (aged 20 and above) decreased from 11,8% to 9,3%. The number of people who completed Grade 12 increased from 22,1% to 23,6%.

Among people aged seven to 24, the most common reason for not attending an educational institution remained lack of money for fees.

The number of employed individuals increased from 11 145 000 in July 2002 to 12 720 000 in July 2007.

There was a small increase during the same time period, from 39,2% to 41,9%, in the labour absorption rates.

In July 2007 the unemployment rate of 24,8% was 3,8 percentage points lower than in July 2006 and 0,7 percentage points lower than the unemployment rate measured with the Labour Force Survey of March 2007.

While employment in agriculture declined, the number of people in the sector who could be regarded as ”more skilled” increased from 2,1% in 2002 to 5,5% in 2007.

The percentage of ”more skilled” personnel employed in manufacturing decreased from 18,9% to 16,6% since 2002.

The trade sector experienced the biggest growth in the percentage of ”more skilled” employees, from 12,7% in 2002 to 17,7% in 2007.

A total of 163 000 people older than 65 were employed. They mainly worked in the services industry (22,1%), trade (18,4%) and agriculture (19%). – Sapa