Mu­nic­i­pal re­port card

A new mu­nic­i­pal sur­vey high­lights the need to fast-track ser­vice de­liv­ery in im­pov­er­ished ar­eas

CityPress - - News - SIZWE SAMA YENDE sizwe.yende@city­

It’s west ver­sus east in the bat­tle for the coun­try’s best places to live, and the west is win­ning. The Govern­ment Per­for­mance In­dex, com­piled by re­search and ad­vo­cacy group Good Gov­er­nance Africa (GGA), has found that nine out of the top 10 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the coun­try are in the Western Cape, and nine out of the 10 worst are in the East­ern Cape and KwaZulu-Na­tal.

The in­dex has ranked all of the coun­try’s 234 lo­cal and metropoli­tan mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties ac­cord­ing to 15 dif­fer­ent cri­te­ria across three spheres of per­for­mance: ad­min­is­tra­tion, eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and ser­vice de­liv­ery.

GGA used in­for­ma­tion in­cluded in the 2011 Census, as well as other data from Sta­tis­tics SA, Na­tional Trea­sury, Gaffney’s Lo­cal Govern­ment Year­book (2013-2015), Au­di­torGen­eral re­ports and the ex­tended pub­lic works pro­gramme.

Ser­vice de­liv­ery was most heav­ily weighted, with eight in­di­ca­tors in­clud­ing ac­cess to piped wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, san­i­ta­tion, reg­u­lar refuse re­moval, for­mal hous­ing, health fa­cil­i­ties, po­lice cov­er­age and ac­cess to qual­ity education mea­sured by how many res­i­dents had com­pleted their ma­tric.

Mu­nic­i­pal ca­pac­ity, fi­nan­cial sound­ness and com­pli­ance were in­cluded in the rank­ing, as were eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in­di­ca­tors such as poverty, in­come, work op­por­tu­ni­ties and the area’s un­em­ploy­ment rate.

The study found mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the Western Cape were the coun­try’s best run and their res­i­dents en­joyed bet­ter ser­vices and eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties than else­where in South Africa.

Al­most all res­i­dents, or 98.8%, liv­ing in the top 20 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, 15 of which are in the Western Cape, have ac­cess to piped wa­ter.

Most of the res­i­dents in those ar­eas en­joy elec­tric­ity sup­ply to their homes (91.8%), refuse re­moval (79.8%) and proper san­i­ta­tion.

In con­trast, in the bot­tom 20 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties an av­er­age of only 56.9% of res­i­dents have ac­cess to piped wa­ter, 55% have elec­tric­ity, and 5.5% of house­holds have their refuse re­moved.

In the coun­try’s top-ranked mu­nic­i­pal­ity – Swellen­dam, Western Cape – 98.5% of res­i­dents have ac­cess to piped wa­ter, while only 15.1% have it in low­est-ranked Mbizana, East­ern Cape.

GGA ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dr Alain Tschudin said: “DA mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties gen­er­ally per­formed well across all three per­for­mance clus­ters. With re­gard to ser­vice de­liv­ery, the DA’s high­lights in­clude refuse re­moval, wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion and pro­vi­sion of elec­tric­ity. In ad­min­is­tra­tion, its high­lights are mu­nic­i­pal ca­pac­ity and fi­nan­cial sound­ness.

“In eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, the DA did well in terms of the poverty and un­em­ploy­ment in­di­ca­tors,” he said.

The DA gov­erns 17 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, 15 of which are in the Western Cape. Af­ter Swellen­dam, Hesse­qua and Ber­griv­ier oc­cupy se­cond and third place.

The ANC-led mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, the GGA found, per­formed well in ad­min­is­tra­tion but un­der­per­formed on ser­vice de­liv­ery and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in­di­ca­tors.

There are eight ANC-run mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the top 20, four of which – Cape Agul­has, Beau­fort West, Prince Al­bert and Matzikama – are si­t­u­ated in the Western Cape.

In the North­ern Cape, the ANC has two mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the top cat­e­gory: Emthanjeni and Richtersveld.

In the Free State, the ANC-led Met­sima­holo and Dih­labeng also fall in the top 20 group.

Of the bot­tom 20 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, 12 are in the East­ern Cape and six in KwaZulu-Na­tal.

ANC-led mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties scored well in key ar­eas. “While the un­der­per­for­mance of the ANC-led mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties on ser­vice de­liv­ery and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment in­di­ca­tors may seem to be the plau­si­bly emerg­ing pat­tern, we noted some ex­cep­tions,” Tschudin said.

“One such ex­cep­tion re­lates to education, where the re­sults show a strong per­for­mance in Mpumalanga. This is demon­strated by two of its mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, Mbombela and Steve Tsh­wete, fea­tur­ing in the top 10 na­tional mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties for that in­di­ca­tor.”

Lim­popo and Free State mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, said Tschudin, per­formed well on the hous­ing in­di­ca­tor. Six­teen out of 25 Lim­popo mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties scored high on the hous­ing in­di­ca­tor, while only three out of 20 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in the Free State failed to score top marks for this cri­te­rion.

In the North-West prov­ince, the City of Mat­losana is the top mu­nic­i­pal­ity with its best scores be­ing for san­i­ta­tion and refuse re­moval. Tlokwe mu­nic­i­pal­ity per­formed well on san­i­ta­tion and was ranked ninth in the coun­try.

The GGA re­port, how­ever, says the low­est-ranked mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties were lo­cated in the for­mer Ban­tus­tans formed by the apartheid govern­ment.

Th­ese gov­ern­ments were rid­dled with cor­rup­tion and in­ten­tion­ally did not bring de­vel­op­ment to th­ese ar­eas.

“Taken as a whole,” Tschudin said, “our GGA rank­ings com­mu­ni­cate the ur­gency with which re­sources need to be in­vested in ser­vice de­liv­ery in the lower-ranked mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, as our na­tion­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive gov­er­nance sur­vey re­port con­firms.

“Per­haps equally im­por­tant is to en­sure that so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment are fast-tracked, par­tic­u­larly in im­pov­er­ished and un­der­de­vel­oped ar­eas.”

39.7% of re­spon­dentswas par­tially said ac­count­able govern­ment

24.3% agreed that govern­ment was even less ac­count­able and sen­si­tive to peo­ple’s needs than the apartheid govern­ment

21.6% be­lieved govern­ment rep­re­sented the in­ter­est of a small political class only

50% aged be­tween 45 and 54 were ‘rad­i­cally dis­il­lu­sioned’ about govern­ment ac­count­abil­ity, as were

40% of black re­spon­dents across all age groups

46% were dis­il­lu­sioned with govern­ment’s ac­count­abil­ity to the pub­lic

14.3% said govern­ment was com­pletely ac­count­able The re­port and the in­dex will be re­leased to­mor­row at Con­sti­tu­tion Hill

Good Gov­er­nance Africa con­ducted an­other sur­vey called What the peo­ple

re­ally think, fo­cus­ing on South Africans’ thoughts on ac­count­abil­ity in govern­ment. More than 2 245 peo­ple through­out the

coun­try, across age and race groups, par­tic­i­pated in Au­gust and Septem­ber last

year. Its find­ings in­clude the fol­low­ing:

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