Can you drink the tap water in South Africa?
In general, no.
The US Center for Disease Control's travel advisory recommends avoiding tap water and drinking bottled or disinfected water in South Africa (source).
Like all countries though, water accessibility, sanitation, and treatment vary widely from location to location, so we encourage looking for specific city information.
The most commonly searched cities in South Africa are:
For a full list of cities in South Africa, scroll to the bottom of this post or click here.
World Health Organization South Africa Water Summary
The World Health Organization estimates that 93 percent of South Africa have access to tap water.
In 2000, undefined % of the population had access to drinkable, tap water on site, and 85% within an accessible distance, including both rural and urban areas.
In South Africa, like in most countries, clean tap water availability is much higher in urban areas than in rural areas, with urban area availability averages at 82% and rural availability figures at undefined %.
World Health Organization's 2017 South Africa Water Data
The World Health Organization data on water quality and availability throughout South Africa includes the national average, averages for urban population centers, and averages for rural areas.
|Safely Managed||A location that safe, drinkable water that is free of biological or chemical contaminants available on premise.|
|At Least Basic||Safe drinkable water is available within 30 minutes from the location|
|Limited||It would take more than 30 minutes from the location to access safe, drinkable water.|
|Year||Population in 1000s||Safely managed||At Least Basic||Limited|
How Do People In South Africa Rate The Water?
Travelers and residents of South Africa have rated the water quality and pollution as follows, according to subjective survey data.
A score of 100% is considered very high, and a score of 0% is very low. Please be cautious that "moderate to very high" water pollution is bad and the higher the rate of water quality the better.
|Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility||35%||Moderate|
|Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility||65%||High|
View our tap water report on all cities in South Africa
- Somerset West
- Richards Bay
- Port Elizabeth