The best and worst metro municipalities in South Africa

Trust in South African metropolitan municipalities is at an all-time low, according to the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) by Consulta.

The index measures citizen satisfaction and trust in service delivery in eight Metropolitan municipalities – Buffalo City, Cape Town, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Johannesburg, Mangaung, Nelson Mandela Bay and Tshwane.

It is based on a survey which carried a total sample size of 2,506 random interviewees across the metros, representative of the resident demographics in each metro.

The survey found that trust in municipal service delivery is at its lowest ebb since the inception of the index in 2014.

Not a single metro managed to increase its position from the previous index, with even the top-rated municipality, Cape Town, in decline.

# Municipalities 2018 score 2019 score Change
1 City of Cape Town (Western Cape) 65.2 64.1 -1.1
2 Ekurhuleni (Gauteng) 57.5 55.7 -1.8
3 eThekwini (KwaZulu Natal) 57.5 55.5 -2.0
Average 57.4 54.0 -1.9
4 City of Tshwane (Gauteng) 56.3 51.3 -4.8
5 Nelson Mandela Bay (Eastern Cape) 61.9 50.5 -11.4
6 City of Johannesburg (Gauteng) 55.0 49.9 -5.1
7 Buffalo City (Eastern Cape) 46.3 43.4 -2.9
8 Manguang (Free State) 41.1 40.5 -0.6

Of the eight metros polled, Cape Town emerged as the category leader on overall citizen satisfaction for large metros for the sixth consecutive year, at 64.1 out of a possible 100.

“This is a definitive 10.1 index point score above the average satisfaction score of 54 and leading well ahead of all other metros,” Consulta said.

Ekurhuleni and eThekwini follow with scores on par to industry average, with 55.7 and 55.5 respectively, followed by Tshwane at 51.3, Nelson Mandela Bay at 50.5 and Johannesburg with 49.9, all coming in below par.

Buffalo City ‘s 43.4 and Mangaung, with 40.5 come in dramatically below par, and thus performed at 10.6 and 13.5 index points below industry average respectively.

“Notably, Nelson Mandela Bay showed a dramatic decline of 11.4 index points in overall satisfaction compared with its previous year’s score of 61.9 – this could be the impact of leadership upheaval which beset the metro during 2018, and which impacted citizen expectations and trust in ability to deliver services,” Consulta said.

Mangaung has recorded the lowest satisfaction score in the history of the citizen satisfaction Index for the second consecutive year, declining even further on its previous year’s score.

“Overall, the results show that expectations are very far from being met, and that there are significant gaps in expectations versus the perceived quality of service delivery that citizens experience,” said professor Adré Schreuder, SAcsi founder and chairperson.

“The delivery gap between what citizens expect and what they perceive has also widened compared with the previous year’s results, while comparisons with 2015 results show a chasm in the decline. In this year’s results, all metros experienced a drop in overall scores, with some metros showing massive decline and deterioration in citizen satisfaction.”

Driving citizen dissatisfaction was lack of basic service delivery, including:

  • Water supply and management;
  • Electricity supply;
  • Garbage disposal;
  • Road maintenance;
  • Clean streets.

“Municipal leadership would do well to realise that service delivery is what matters most to citizens and that citizens want their lives to be enhanced and improved through the services that municipalities are required to provide,” said Schreuder.

Of the almost 20 industry sectors polled by the SAcsi, the municipalities category has consistently fared the poorest since the inception of the index, with the lowest satisfaction scores across all sectors – and which have remained on a downward trajectory year-on-year, Consulta said.

Read: These are the best and worst run municipalities in South Africa

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The best and worst metro municipalities in South Africa