Satisfaction survey uncovers more misery in metros

20 July 2017 - 16:50
By Dave Chambers
Satisfaction survey.
Image: iStock Satisfaction survey.

Residents’ satisfaction with South Africa’s eight metropolitan municipalities has slumped to a three-year low.

Even Cape Town‚ which tops the latest South African Customer Satisfaction Index for municipalities‚ has work to do: its score of 68.5 is well above the 59.3 average but down on its results in the last two years.

And its “trust” score fell sharply in the survey‚ conducted by market research company Consulta. It was down from 77.1 in 2016 to 72.4.

Said Consulta CEO Adré Schreuder: “While Cape Town remains the clear leader‚ it still experienced a decline in trust. This may be related to the current water crisis‚ increasing migration into the province‚ and infrastructure maintenance falling behind.”

Buffalo City props up the index with a score of 47.2. Scores for other metropolitan muncipalities were: Ekurhuleni 59.8; Tshwane 57.7; Johannesburg 57; Nelson Mandela Bay 59; Mangaung 51.3; and eThekwini 57.8.

“The 2016 municipal elections were a watershed moment for post-democracy politics ... and people’s shifting sentiment was reflected in how they voted‚” said Schreuder.

“Municipalities that saw significant changes in leadership increased their overall scores‚ with the exception of Tshwane‚ which declined possibly due to lingering structural challenges.”

The biggest category of customer complaints to metros related to water services (31%)‚ followed by electricity‚ personnel‚ potholes and streets‚ garbage‚ tax bills‚ street lights‚ crime and parks.

“While complaints are on the rise‚ this is not necessarily a negative thing‚” said Schreuder. “This could be a sign that citizens feel their voices need to be heard and municipalities are providing better platforms for them to share their concerns.”