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The best and worst municipalities in South Africa in 2016

The best and worst municipalities in South Africa in 2016

Ahead of the 2016 municipal elections, a new index compiled by Good Governance Africa (GGA) reveals which are the best – and worst – run municipalities in the country.

The index was compiled based on various data sources, including the 2011 census, National Treasury’s Local Government Yearbook, as well as various releases from Stats SA.

GGA looked at 234 local metropolitan universities and assessed them across 15 different criteria split into three main groups, namely administration, economic development and service delivery.

Nine of the top ten municipalities are run by the Democratic Alliance, according to the report, with all 17 of the party’s municipalities appearing in the top 40.

The bottom 10 municipalities are all ANC-run, with a showing from one IFP and one NFP-run municipality.

Dr Alain Tschudin, executive director of the GGA, said that DA municipalities generally performed well across all three performance clusters.

“With regard to service delivery, the DA’s highlights include refuse removal, water, sanitation and provision of electricity. In administration, its highlights are municipal capacity and financial soundness…In economic development, the DA did well in terms of the poverty and unemployment indicators,” he said.

The findings will bolster the DA’s efforts in the upcoming municipal elections – particularly in hotly-contested districts such as Nelson Mandela Bay, the City of Tshwane and the City of Johannesburg.

15 of the top 20 municipalities are in the Western Cape, while half of the 20 worst-run municipalities are in the Eastern Cape (followed by seven in KwaZulu Natal, two in Limpopo and one in North West Province).

20 best municipalities in South Africa

# Municipality Province Controlling party (C = coalition)
1 Swellendam WC DA (C) ACDP
2 Hessequa WC DA
3 Bergrivier WC DA
4 Swartland WC DA
5 Mossel Bay WC DA
6 Langeberg WC DA
7 Overstrand WC DA
8 Saldanha WC DA
9 Emthanjeni NC ANC
10 Witzenberg WC DA (C) Cope, DCP, IND
11 Cape Agulhas WC ANC
12 Beaufort West WC ANC
13 Prince Albert WC ANC
14 Hantam NC DA (C) Cope
15 Matzikama WC ANC
16 Drakenstein WC DA
17 Richtersveld NC ANC
18 George WC DA
19 Metsimaholo FS ANC
20 Dihlabeng FS ANC

20 worst municipalities in South Africa

# Municipality Province Controlling party (C = coalition)
232 Ntambanana KZN ANC
231 Ingquza Hill EC ANC
230 Vulamehlo KZN ANC
229 Greater Tubaste LP ANC
228 Mbhashe EC ANC
227 Maphumulo KZN ANC
226 Engcobo EC ANC
225 Mhlontlo EC ANC
224 Intsika Yethu EC ANC
223 Port St Johns EC ANC
222 Ndwedwe KZN ANC
221 Nyandeni EC ANC
220 uMhlabuyalingana KZN ANC
219 Umzumbe KZN ANC
218 Mnquma EC ANC
217 Umzimvubu EC ANC
216 Greater Taung NW ANC
215 King Sabata Dalindyebo EC ANC
214 Msinga KZN IFP
213 Mahuduthamaga LP ANC

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  • the-TRUTH

    I say the #theEFF-ANC-NPFandIFPMustFall

  • James Dean

    Dear ANC sheep.

    Read it and weep.

    Little Bo Peep

    • reVelske

      Sadly, they’ll just argue that GGA is biased towards DA/owned by white people/agenda driven/iRacist!/etc etc

      • Ethan

        True, when will it ever end???

      • Brian

        If the people cant see that this is just one of many nails in the ANC coffin then the light at the end of the tunnel is very distant. Marikana, PRASA, SAA, Eskom, Nene, Gordhan, jobs, students, economy, exchange rate, productivity…. I could go on but the list is extremely long.

    • Little Bo Peep

      Hey! Impersonation is against channel rules!

  • SpiritOfNehanda

    Coincides with privilege. Plus how do you imagine well run poverty stricken areas or townships to look like?

    • Jackson

      Give the DA a chance with those municipalities and lets see

    • michael wilson

      In that case the privilege levels in the Western Cape are really astronomically higher than anywhere else in the country. Or, more realistically, it’s just far better governed. Well run townships imply things like regular refuse removal, access to water, sanitation and amenities, electrification and so on. I wonder why you try so hard to deny such obvious realities.

      • SpiritOfNehanda

        Have you been to Khayelitsha or Phillippi lately?

        • michael wilson

          Apparently better than the townships of anc run municipalities, have you been much to those? It’s all relative really.

          I’m not sure what you are saying in your first comment, are you refuting the stats given here or somehow claiming that they don’t actually reflect a better standard of governance by the DA?

          • SpiritOfNehanda

            No, I’m not refuting the stats. The stats actually make sense. Like the guy above, why can’t you see beyond the DA and the ANC? These stats to me confirm what has always been: privilege and historical imbalance. Yes we also cannot rule out mismanagement as a factor, that’s all..

          • michael wilson

            The reason I can’t look beyond the ANC and the DA is that the DA is a less corrupt and more efficient organisation, by all accounts (and I mean all, almost every ever audit and every indicator). As such i would far rather be under their jurisdiction. This article relates specifically to individual parties and their governance. If you want to tell me that these stats have nothing to do with the DA’s efforts and only have to do with historical imbalance then I would say that i never knew that the WC was so massively historically imbalanced and privileged compared to places like Gauteng etc.

    • Stevo Jones

      Instead of giving some meaningless chiefs a bunch of German luxury cars, the anc could start by providing the basic services.

      But as you, a loyal anc cadre show, excuses are easier.

      • SpiritOfNehanda

        Loyal ANC cadre is you who is obssessed with the ANC. The article says nothing about political parties, but for some reason all you see is the ANC. learn to make your mind up outside the scope of political parties. They are all crap and those stats instead reflect social privilege and historic imbalance, period…

        • yodaho

          What article were you reading?? Obviously you were reading something else.

        • Brian

          Seriously…. nonsense! This is nothing to do with privilege and everything to do with political parties. If this does not open your eyes you will never see. You can try to spin the facts as much as you like to defend corrupt, inept municipalities and maybe the die hard ANC loyalists will agree with you. The DA has clearly been far more successful in running these municipalities and should, therefore, run more of them. If they fail then change them as well but I certainly vote for the party that delivers. When they stop delivering I will stop voting for them.

  • Joe Soap

    A good story to tell.

  • My_opinion247

    19 of the 20 worst municipalities in the country are ANC-controlled

    That’s clearly another good story to tell !

  • CharlieTango

    What would be interesting to include here is the salaries of the municipal managers and other staff of each of these municipalities. That would give the residents a good overview of the levels of service they are receiving for their taxes (for those that pay of course). So for example, if the Municipal Manager of Port St Johns (#223 on the list) is receiving the same salary as the Municipal Manager of Overstrand (# 7 on the list), you need to raise some questions about their competency levels (and that of their staff). But that’s a pipe dream I suppose.

  • Stevo Jones

    Suck on that anc voters. You get what you voted for.

  • TiredOfTheBS

    9/10 of the top 10 belong to the DA
    19/20 of the bottom belong to the ANC

  • Kgololosego

    what Rustenburg is not on bottom 10 what the hell, this is rigged

  • bengine

    A bit misleading. DA will tend to have municipalities in wealthier areas and the ANC is pretty much guaranteed the bottom of the pile. Not exactly comparing apples with apples
    Not trying to defend the ANC but we need to be realistic here. The DA is doing well but their true measure is going to be in how they handle the really remote impoverished communities.

    Having said that the ANC does have enough “high value” municipalities to have the opportunity to have some in the top 10 but they have failed – they have not demonstrated they are competent to meet the challenge.

    The really sad thing here is that while we throw statistics and taunts around their are people who have to live under the administration of those bottom 20 municipalities – if we think we are going through tough times …

    • AnRkey

      “With regard to service delivery, the DA’s highlights include refuse removal, water, sanitation and provision of electricity. In administration, its highlights are municipal capacity and financial soundness…In economic development, the DA did well in terms of the poverty and unemployment indicators,” he said.

      Get your facts straight. ANC is simply doing a shitty job, end of.

      • bengine

        What facts? I was not dealing with specifics of service delivery. I was pointing out that a true comparison is only possible when the DA has had the opportunity to run a municipality in an impoverished area.

        What part of what I wrote did you not understand (or read)?

        It’s all very well go beating the DA drum but I am not into soccer team politics – I back the team that is going to get the job done – and if they cannot do the job then they better watch out for squalls. So far the DA has been doing a good job – I want to see how they do in the more remote, poorer areas – then I will have a good handle on what there true capability is.

        Political maturity is about backing someone who can deliver and not loyalty to a “team” – if the DA is going to continue to deliver they need to stay on their toes – so far they have had the “easy” municipalities – I want to see their performance in the hard ones.

        “ANC is simply doing a shitty job,” – and your point? Trying to see what the point was of repeating what I said?

        • yodaho

          You are missing the point. In order to do a proper job, you don’t have to have a lots of money. Just do the best with what you have and you will have a well run municipality. Having well-to-do residents does not equate to a well run municipality. Lots of anc run municipalities that do a bad job have rich residents.

          • bengine

            Of course – but you are missing the point. A comparative study only has merit when it is done on metrics that are equitable when applied across the board. The point of my post was that we have as yet to see how the DA performs in those remote, impoverished communities. It is not difficult concept to understand. This is not about bashing the DA – it is about asking for information that is useful.

          • yodaho

            No, you are just not getting it. The anc does bad in rich and poor communities. If DA does well in rich areas, then why will they do bad in poor areas. The POINT is: do the BEST with what you have!!! Not just enrich yourselves with fat salaries and obtain the most expensive cars. Get it!

          • bengine

            Listen numb nuts – the points is about reporting not about the capabilities of the respective parties. The article lists the DA as being in the top 10 – the entire point of my post was to point out that we are not comparing apples with apples and no, if you are truly objective, you cannot assume that just because they do well in rich areas they will in poor. The DA has done a great job where they have majority. All I am saying (and I am typing this very slowly) is for this comparison to be truly meaningful we would first need data on DA run municipalities in rural areas – that’s all – simple – a minor point raised about comparative studies. Stop turning this into a defense against perceived DA thumping.

          • Literally Mario

            You forgot to add that the reason the ANC municipalities are poorly run is because of the US foreign policy.

          • Hennie

            Lets compare apples with apples. Surely in Gauteng where ANC are running some rich areas especially Pretoria. Why aren’t they in the top twenty? Most of the money is in gauteng and the pay for workers is higher that’s why my daughter works in gauteng. The WC roads are better, most of the traffic lights actually works in rich and poor areas, the schools are better in rich areas and poor areas and the service delivery is better in WC in rich and poor areas and so one can go on and on.

            All this is happening although the ANC is trying to make WC ungovernable and we have more fires the last 2 years than we have had in our whole history and that makes me suspicious. Who is responsible for these fires?

          • bengine

            This discussion seems to be going sideways. The key point here has only to do with information dissemination in that I was trying to make the point that we cannot objectively draw any hard conclusions about a party’s ability to perform across the board unless that party has representation across the board. Now the ANC has such representation and is not performing – that is a fact. But what we cannot do is extrapolate the performance of the DA in the areas they hold to the outlying areas and make any predictions about exactly how they are going to perform. I have business interests in Tshwane and Mpumalanga in areas that are hours from metropolitan areas and the contrast between running that business in Tshwane vs MP is chalk and cheese – there are a multitude of factors that come into play.

            So while the DA has performed well I would like to see how they perform in those areas and then map that to the ANC’s performance – I don’t have any predictions about what the outcome will be but I believe that in order for the statistics we have seen in this article to be meaningful that data is necessary. That is all I was trying to say.

          • Hennie

            The EFF will certainly win some Municipalities. It will be interesting to see how they will fare in running the municipalities they will win and if they will fare any better than the ANC in running of those municipalities. New brooms always sweep clean they say.

          • bengine

            Yes that will be interesting. If we are going to mature politically we need good solid information about performance – not fluff – information that we can actually draw conclusions from. Right now the political landscape is too unbalanced for us to have a clear picture although things are clarifying as the ANC slowly sinks its own boat. The DA has done some good things as the minority opposition – which is to be expected – we need to see how that translates into larger scale where they are responsible for a wider spread of areas and income groups. We see this all the time the upstart (Apple) challenges the incumbent (IBM / Microsoft) – makes amazing inroads – becomes the incumbent and then stagnates / plateaus when it gains a certain size.
            The question is – when the DA reaches a critical size are they going to be able keep the reigns tight or are internal politics, sleeper agents etc going to see it sliding toward where the ANC is now.
            Greedy politicians will sing the anthem of whichever party gives them access to the money – when the balance starts to tip and people start jumping ship that is when the interesting stuff starts to happen.

          • Hennie

            Yes, you are quite right. We’ve seen it happen to Cope. They reached for the stars and fell short.

          • yodaho

            You certainly need to type slowly then maybe your brain will keep up! I can see you are struggling.

          • AnRkey

            Thanks, Yodaho, for putting it to him so clearly. Perhaps he’ll understand now instead of being a troll.

    • Jonathan Els

      I don’t see the point of your argument at all.

      None of the municipalities in the top 20 can’t really be considered as wealthy, but are certainly not impoverished – we’d expect them in the 60-70th percentile at least. Following your logic, GAU should dominate the top 20, and we should at least expect to see any top ANC entries coming from that province. Since the ANC owns the rest – are you really saying that there are no apples to compare to – across all 9 provinces? Your logic is flawed.

      Also, while we throw stats around, the fact still remains that you get what you vote for! There are consequences for our collective action. A fundamental problem in South Africa is an overwhelming lack of accountability – stop taking that away from the voters themselves.

      The only thing that I do agree on is that we need to look at how the DA perform in poor communities – given the opportunity. Would be interesting to review the stats for the remaining municipalities that they control

      • bengine

        “The only thing that I do agree on is that we
        need to look at how the DA perform in poor communities” which was the crux of my argument.

        The ANC has shown they are not up to scratch – we know this. What we don’t know is the true challenge of meeting service delivery targets in the remote areas. Because the ANC has messed up across the board – they are not a good yard stick. The DA has had good results in the more affluent areas (by affluent I mean people who are not predominantly unemployed living of R 10 a day). So we have no idea what it really takes to manage a municipality under such difficult conditions. We might find that in these areas the performance by the ANC was not as bad as imagined (note I said might – I am trying to look at this objectively without being swayed by party loyalty).

        The whole gist of my post was that, from an objective view point, this study is does not give us the complete picture in terms of party performance – which can only happen once the DA wins more rural spots and proves their mettle under more challenging conditions.

        That was it – there is nothing wrong with the logic. However there is something wrong with accepting a study on face value and allowing confirmation bias to determine whether or not it paints a complete picture.

        • Jonathan Els

          Hmmm, you’re saying “messed up across the board”, as a qualification for being unable to compare apples with apples? That’s contradictory, and sounds a lot like you’re fence-sitting in an attempt to be PC. The data is only misleading in as much as you arrive at a conclusion, then go back to the study to try and justify it.

          I will say it again – stop denying citizens their fundamental democratic responsibility to accept the consequences of who they voted repeatedly for. Yes, there is a historical consideration. Yes, there is also a moratorium on excuses for a lack of delivery.

          That being said, we’re essentially agreeing on the same thing. Seems like you’re having a cyber war in other comments! I dont want to do that here.

          • bengine

            This is not about being PC nor is it denying anything. It was a simple concept which you have managed to complicate six love. If you are the type of person who takes everything they read at face value good luck to you. Personally I am a bit more discerning in the information I digest and take on board.
            This post was about what information is useful and what is not – simple yet you have managed to bring in a bunch of concocted nonsense.
            The numbers in this article are not complete which makes the article interesting but leaves questions that need to be answered.

            Bottom line – if I am going to be fed numbers and conclusions based on those numbers they had better add up.

          • Jonathan Els

            Agree to disagree. Discern away.

  • #TimneForChange

    Seems to be a pattern here. Patronage locks millions of people out of the real economy in SA.

  • EarToTheGround

    Sorry Staff writer but your worst municipality listing is way off !

    I don’t see ANY Mpumalanga municipalities listed here ! Ngala and emalahleni municipalities are the worst in the country so I don’t know where you got your data from !

    You do realize that the country isn’t just made up of the 4 regions you have on your list …right ???

    If you are going to publish something … get it right dude !!!


    • reVelske

      They are simply publishing what GGA has compiled. If you have an issue with the validity of the list, consult with GGA, I’m SURE GGA will take your concerns VERY seriously.

  • yodaho

    My municipality not on the 20 worst list. Must have been an oversight.

  • MasterZu

    ANC vs DA run municipalities = this story just reveals it all.

    Eastern Cape and KZN = worst run because they have too many corrupt and incapable personnel running these municipalities

    • Kgololosego

      no I doesnt

  • ChantOlive

    ANC suck it!!! hahahahaha

  • GalacticMantra

    To my fellow South Africans, let’s get rid of the cANCer once and for all. Vote with your head and not your heart for everyone’s sake.

  • Supergirl

    Those are all small and economically less influential. Where is Cape Town, Nelson Mandela Metro, Jozi and DBN?

    The top municipalities are well established, and the expectation is that they should be run efficiently.

    The worst municipalities are in rural areas and less developed. No surprise there. The surprise would be if everybody could point them out on a map.

  • Helldriver Phoenix

    Mmmh, strange that all the best municipalities is in the Western Cape? ANC supporters, what does this tell you?

  • Brian

    Now if that is not telling I don’t know what is. Not sure how the ANC will spin this one? Maybe try to start another race outcry? Go DA! Time for us to vote them in and see if they can turn this sad country around.

  • DumbSA

    no big surprises here. pity the voters don’t get it.

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