Where to enjoy the best quality of life in SA

 ·9 Dec 2014
Cape Town at night

Western Cape residents enjoy a better quality of life than their counterparts in the rest of the country.

This is according to new research conducted by trade union, Solidarity, which found that municipal service delivery in this province is of a higher standard than in the rest of the country.

Solidarity published its Western Cape Liveability Monitor, the fifth in a series which has included the North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and Gauteng, so far.

The union measured the liveability of 25 local municipalities and one metropolitan municipality in the Western Cape.

It found that for liveability, Western Cape municipalities fared much better as a whole and on an individual basis than the other provinces already measured. “Liveability refers to the ability of residents to live a decent existence in a town or city,” Solidarity said.

Dr Eugene Brink, senior researcher at the Solidarity Research Institute (SRI), noted that the report indicates that unemployment is generally low in the Western Cape, while training and income levels are relatively high.

Furthermore, it indicates that medical facilities, offered by both private and state institutions, are of a high quality. Moreover, the quality and supply of drinking water and sanitation services are commendable, the report said.

“The high quality of service delivery in the Western Cape can be ascribed to the relatively competent management of most of the Western Cape municipalities and the low occurrence of corruption. For example, qualified audits are the exception rather than the rule. Exactly the opposite applies to the municipalities scrutinised in the previous monitors,” Brink said.

Unlike the scores obtained in the Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West Monitors, not one municipality in the Western Cape scored lower than 5/10.

Overstrand Municipality, which includes Gansbaai, Hangklip – Kleinmond, Hermanus, Stanford, scored highest at 8.5/10, while several other municipalities obtained scores of 8/10.

Brink stressed, however, that Western Cape residents still face many challenges.

“The incidence of crime varies from high to very high in places, while many job opportunities are only seasonal and offer poor pay. Moreover, informal housing is still prevalent and increasing population explosions in many Western Cape municipalities pose serious risks – especially with regard to service delivery, infrastructure and crime.”

In Gauteng’s 10 municipalities, Mogale City, which includes Krugersdorp, and Tshwane, in Pretoria, scored the highest, at 7/10, while Westonaria scored the lowest, at 5/10.

For the North West Liveability Monitor, a large number of the 19 municipalities scored only 1/10 including the likes of Moretele Local Municipality, and Ventersdorp.

Rustenburg scored 5/10, while the City Council of Tlokwe scored highest at 7/10.

For Mpumalanga, Solidarity noted that most of the 18 municipalities scored lower than 5/10, with most residents income very low, with unemployment rates very high.

Limpopo, with 25 municipalities, also scored poorly, with the majority not getting more than 3/10, and led by Polokwane achieving a score of 5/10.

The highest mark of 6.5/10 was achieved by Thabazimbi municipality.

The report used employment, crime, basic services, corruption, municipal financial management, income levels and medical facilities, among others as a measure of liveability.

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