What is the biggest problem facing your community?
- Kerry Bobbins
- Date of publication: 31 August 2015
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This month’s map of the month depicts data collected from the 2013 Quality of Life (QoL) III survey question: ‘What is the biggest problem facing your community?’. The map is derived by calculating and plotting the most commonly identified response per ward. On the map we see that the biggest problem identified by respondents was unemployment (with 210 wards saying this was their biggest problem) and crime (with 151 wards saying this was their biggest problem). The map also depicts a more nuanced understanding of the developmental challenges evident in the GCR. For example in 55 wards, housing and a lack of basic services was the most common answer, while in 20 wards, a lack of maintenance was the most common answer. Respondents in only one ward (located in Westonaria) identified drought, flood or natural disasters as the biggest problem facing their community.
Considering the results at a Gauteng level, a bar graph of responses across the whole sample depicts that unemployment (22%), crime (20%) and lack of basic services (11%) were the biggest challenges facing communities. Interestingly, a similar question asked in the 2011 QoL II survey saw the top two problems reversed, with crime at 35% and unemployment at 17%.
A mapping of the most commonly identified problems in Gauteng suggests that responses follow a spatialised pattern. This is even clearer in a more detailed mapping of the percentage of respondents in each ward who say that unemployment, crime and a lack of basic service was their biggest problem (maps a – c below). Here we see the results broadly follow the distribution of wealth across the province, where respondents in the wealthier core identified crime as the biggest challenge, while respondents located on the poorer periphery and township areas identified unemployment and lack of basic services as their biggest challenges.