The best and worst municipalities – ranked by South Africans

With municipal elections rapidly approaching, the latest South African Consumer Satisfaction Index shows which municipalities in the country score top points with citizens.

In the lead up to the elections, on 3 August, South Africans are being flooded with promises from numerous political parties, which creates expectations in the minds of the people.

According to a new citizen satisfaction study released by SAcsi, SA  municipalities are falling dismally short of the expectations of their citizens.

The independent study measured satisfaction among residents of municipal services across eight of the largest SA metropolitan municipalities, with an overall score of 59.5 out of 100 being pointedly lower than the average scores across a number of private sector industries reported by Consulta.

For its index, SAcsi surveyed 2 679 residents in a randomly selected sample comprising residents in the major municipal districts of Cape Town, eThekwini, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung and Buffalo City.

Cape Town successfully maintained its previous leadership position, scoring significantly higher than the average at 70.3 out of 100 (marginally down from 2015: 71.9).

eThekwini, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni scored on par with the average at 61.4 (2015: 65.4), 59.5 (2015: 61.5) and 58.1 (2015: 58.3) respectively.

All the other measured municipal districts scored below industry par: Johannesburg at 54.7 (2015: 60.2) Nelson Mandela Bay at 54.0 (2015: 51.8), Mangaung at 52.9 (2015: 51.5) and Buffalo City at 47.6 (2015: 47.1).

# Municipality 2015 Score 2016 Score
1 Cape Town 71.9 70.3
2 eThekwini 65.4 61.4
3 Tshwane 61.5 59.5
Industry Average 61.8 59.5
4 Ekurhuleni 58.3 58.1
5 Johannesburg 60.2 54.7
6 Nelson Mandela Bay 51.8 54.0
7 Manguang 51.3 52.9
8 Buffalo City 47.1 47.6

According to Prof. Adré Schreuder, founder of SAcsi and CEO of Consulta, citizens are voicing their frustrations in increasingly violently ways.

“Perhaps the time has come to include citizen satisfaction as a formal scorecard of effectiveness for each municipality,” he said.

“Low scores are a three-year trend for municipalities, so this is not a case of one bad year. None of the eight major municipalities are meeting the expectations of their residents, although Cape Town residents rate services as closest to their expectations.”

The top drivers of satisfaction in order of importance to residents are water problems, street and road quality, electricity, parks and public areas, and garbage and trash.

Schreuder said that the top three issues revolve around keeping municipal areas neat and tidy, maintaining existing infrastructure and providing reliable services.

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The best and worst municipalities – ranked by South Africans