Western Cape councils are streets ahead
With the local government elections only a few months away, a new report has found that Western Cape municipalities are the best performing and those in Eastern Cape the worst.
The report, by the Good Governance Africa agency, ranks all the country's 234 municipalities by 15 performance indicators.
The report found that 15 of the top 20 municipalities are in DA-run Western Cape - the top three are Swellendam, Hessequa and Bergrivier.
Of the 15 , "four are run by the ANC , eight by the D A , and three by coalitions that include the DA" .
The report states that "the top performer, Swellendam, is led by a DA-African Christian Democratic Party coalition, and the municipalities ranked second to eighth are all DA-led ".
Three municipalities in Northern Cape - Emthanjeni and Richtersveld, both ANC led, and Hantam, controlled by a DA-Congress of the People coalition - and two in the Free State, Metsimaholo and Dihlabeng, both ANC led, complete the top 20.
By contrast, the report found that Eastern Cape "accounts for 12 of the 20 worst-performing municipalities".
It states that the "worst-performing municipality is Mbizana, followed by Ntabankulu, both in Eastern Cape, and Ntambanana in KwaZulu-Natal". All three are controlled by the ANC.
The report identifies poverty as a large contributing factor to Eastern Cape's poor showing.
"The worst-performing eight municipalities on poverty rates are in Eastern Cape".
Alain Tschudin, e xecutive d irector of Good Governance Africa , said: "By developing the index we hope to empower citizens and those in local, provincial and national governments with information to enable positive change."
The index also breaks the national ranking down into its provincial components. The top-ranked municipality in each province was as follows: Eastern Cape: Kouga (ANC-governed); Free State: Metsimaholo (ANC); Gauteng: Lesedi (ANC); KwaZulu-Natal: Kwa-Sani (ANC); Limpopo: Modimolle (ANC); Mpumalanga: Govan Mbeki (ANC); Northern Cape: Emthanjeni (ANC); North West: Matlosana (ANC); Western Cape: Swellendam (DA-ACDP).
Midvaal , the only municipality in Gauteng controlled by the official opposition, which usually tops both independent and government-funded performance indicators, in this report is ranked fifth in the province and 67th nationally.
Data for the index were sourced from Statistics SA , the Gaffney Local Government Yearbook (2013-2015), the auditor-general's r eports, the Extended Public Works Programme and the National Treasury.
Tschudin said: " Many of the top municipalities are run by the DA or DA-associated coalitions. However, from the data we cannot conclude whether this is because they are DA-run or because of other factors.
"Some potential factors have been identified in our analysis, such as demographic variables and historical conditions."
Tschudin said Good Governance Africa intended to produce the performance index every four to five years, shortly before local-government elections.