Quality of Life IV Survey (2015/16): City Benchmarking Report

South Africa’s post-apartheid government has been successful in raising the standard of living for millions of people. It has provided them with access to housing and basic services, improved health and education, and developed social services and urban amenities where none existed before. However, there remain many thorny development challenges that government is, at least at present, poorly equipped to address. Consequently, there remains deep dissatisfaction among many residents, which at various times and in certain contexts has led to widespread community protests.

This report stems from the premise that data, and analysis thereof, are critical for local and provincial governments in Gauteng to understand where progress has been made and where intervention is required.

The City Benchmarking Report presents some key findings from the Quality of Life IV (2015/16) survey at the municipal and provincial levels. The results provide insight into a range of objective indicators such as access to basic services, travel patterns, and economic activity, as well as respondents’ subjective opinions, perceptions and levels of satisfaction. This combination allows us to gain a multi-dimensional understanding of quality of life in the province as well as some of the drivers that improve or worsen it. While there are many aspects of quality of life measured by the survey, this report focuses on specific issues related to municipal service access, satisfaction with services received, satisfaction with the municipality providing those services, and the relationship between access, satisfaction and overall quality of life.

Although this report allows government, residents and stakeholders to compare municipalities with one another, its benchmarking analysis should not be read as a competitive scoring of cities, which in turn becomes a basis for municipalities to market themselves as having the ‘highest quality of life’, or to vie with one another over who has the best performance. Some municipalities do better on some variables, but worse on others. The point of this report is to help each municipality understand its own strengths and weaknesses in relation to others and to the broader Gauteng context.


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