These are the best and worst municipalities in South Africa

 ·30 Sep 2018

Consulta and SA-csi have released their latest barometer focusing on South African municipalities.

The barometer focuses on citizen satisfaction and trust in the metro municipalities – focusing on the main metros of Buffalo City, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.

The total sample size was 2,287, with random interviews conducted across the metros.

The delivery gap between what citizens expect, and what the perceive to be receiving has resulted in an overall drop in SA-csi score from 59.3 index points in 2017 to 57.4 this year.

The only metro to have increased its SA-csi score in 2018 is Nelson Mandela Bay – increasing from 59.0 to 61.9 year on year.

All other municipalities have produced a lower performance from last year. Cape Town is still the leader with 65.2, while Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane are on par with the industry, despite their declines.

Buffalo City and Mangaung continue to be below par, contributed to by the fact that Mangaung received the lowest ever SA-csi score of 41.1, showing a 10-index point drop from 2017.

# Municipalities 2017 score 2018 score Change
1 City of Cape Town (Western Cape) 68.5 65.2 -3.3
2 Nelson Mandela Bay (Eastern Cape) 59.0 61.9 +2.9
3 Ekurhuleni (Gauteng) 59.8 57.6 -2.2
Average 59.3 57.4 -1.9
4 City of Tshwane (Gauteng) 57.7 56.2 -1.5
5 City of Johannesburg (Gauteng) 57.0 55.0 -2.0
6 Buffalo City (Eastern Cape) 47.2 46.2 -1.0
7 Manguang (Free State) 51.3 41.1 -10.2


The research showed that water accounted for 36% of all citizen complaints, with 20% about electricity.

Tax bills are third with 12% of complaints and road conditions at 8%. Call centre complaints are at 5%, with street lights at just below 5%.

“This tells us that citizens are unsatisfied with both service delivery aspects, as well as the behaviour of municipality representatives in how issues are handled and addressed,” SA-csi said.

The overall complaint trend was stable between 2017, with Mangaung showing a significant increase in complaints – up by 8%.

In 2018, complaint handling performance decreased by 4 index points across the board, driven by significant declines in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Buffalo City and Tshwane.

Only Nelson Mandela Bay increased the performance of its complaint handling in 2018 – by 3 index points.

Citizen Trust

Another important metric measured by the SA-csi research is Citizen Trust.

This measures the level of confidence that citizens have in their municipality, as well as the intent to speak positively about it.

This metric has decreased at an industry level – most notably in Cape Town – while stable performances were achieved in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

“From the service delivery perspective and in order of importance, citizens want access to electricity, reliability of electricity when needed, and provision of clean drinking water,” SA-csi said.

“Despite the challenges in Mangaung, residents are happy to live in Bloemfontein. In Cape Town, people love to live in a beautiful city.

“Poor leadership and political expediency, where political gains are prioritised above the welfare of people. In certain municipalities, service delivery just doesn’t seem to be a priority for the municipality.”

It added that it will be interesting to see how the political events of the latter half of 2018 impact citizen perceptions of satisfaction and service delivery in 2019

“In fact, 2019 is an election year, so citizens could hold municipal principles to account.”

Read: ANC support at record low: survey

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