Cape Town has emerged as the local metropolitan municipality that the average South African is most happy to call home. This is according to the latest Consulta South African Satisfaction Index, which measures the average satisfaction and trust of service delivery in eight category A municipalities.
These municipalities include Buffalo City, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.
A sample size of 2427 interviewees across the selected metros participated in the process, and Cape Town was named as the best performing metro on the overall Citizen Satisfaction for Large Metros for the seventh consecutive year.
Cape Town scored 66.0 out of 100 in the latest index, which is a two-point improvement on its previous score of 64.1 in 2019.
The Mother City is also more than 10 points above the par score of 55.7 for all municipalities. Ekurhuleni follows in second place with a score of 58.4 and an improvement of 1.7 on its previous score. Ethekwini and Tshwane have scores of 57.2 and 53.6 respectively, while City of Johannesburg scored 51.4, Nelson Mandela Bay scored 49.8, Buffalo City scored 46.5 and Mangaung scored 38.9.
According to Consulta, the gap between citizen expectations and perceived quality widens annually – essentially this means that while citizen expectations are increasing, the delivery and service quality actually received are declining.
Cape Town has the smallest gap between the service its residents expect and the service that is received. This means that Cape Town is the closest to delivering the basic service is residents expect.
A major contributor to “below par performance” is the negative perception of the reliability of services residents from the other seven municipalities have.
“Overall, the results show that citizens’ expectations of local government delivery of services are very far from being met with a particular concern around the trend in the widening of the gap of expectations to quality,” said Ineke Prinsloo, head of Customer Insights at Consulta, to BusinessTech.
“While metropolitan municipalities conduct living standards and lifestyle surveys to assist them plan out their services better, the results of the index points to a greater need to utilise and optimise the data and research to ensure that skills and services are accurately planned and consistently delivered.”
According to the latest report by South Africa’s Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu, there was R4.27-billion in local government expenditure that was wasted over a three-year period.
The report also found that 91% of the municipalities did not comply with legislation, and Makwetu added that the lapse in oversight and lack of control relating to compliance were evident in a number of areas. This includes supply-chain management lesgislation that has “regressed over the past few years”, with only a small 2% of muncipalities being deemed fully compliant.
Only 20 municipalities received clean audits, and 13 of them were located in the Western Cape.
“The results support the extent of the challenges faced by municipalities as highlighted in the AG report, with the low citizen satisfaction scores reported in SA-csi supporting evidence that there is a lack of appropriate financial and management skills, low level of cooperation in local government, failure to fill key personnel positions as well as a lack of political will to ensure accountability and proper service delivery,” Prinsloo said.
“The consequences of the current status quo is reflected in the low scores achieved in the index pointing to a number of A-category municipalities that are unable to deliver to the satisfaction of their citizens on the very basic services such as clean water, sanitation, electricity and maintenance – the very core of their mandate.”