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​Johannesburg residents are experiencing improved access to basic services, according to a comprehensive survey conducted last year by the Gauteng City Region Observatory (GCRO), a joint initiative between the Gauteng Provincial Government and the universities of Johannesburg and Witwatersrand.

The results of the “Quality of Life Survey – which put the City of Johannesburg near the top in all the indicators of basic services such as piped water, refuse collection, access to sanitation, energy and transport – were based on interviews with almost 17 000 randomly sampled respondents over the age of 18 in Gauteng, including every municipal ward in Johannesburg.
The survey found, among other things, that:
• 93% of households have access to piped water;
• Less than 5% of households do not have access to regular refuse collection;
• 91% of households have  access to either a flush or waterborne toilets;
• 72% level of satisfaction with dwellings;
• 82 % level of satisfaction with water;
• 79% level of satisfaction with sanitation; and
• 85% level of satisfaction with waste removal.
Johannesburg City Manager Trevor Fowler says the survey confirms that the City is making progress with the delivery of services, contributing to improved quality of life for residents.
“It is also in line with our own interaction with communities in Johannesburg during our consultations leading up to the adoption of the City’s Joburg 2040 Strategy last year. Issues of concern raised in the survey are receiving priority attention in ongoing City initiatives,” Fowler said.
He says the biggest areas of concern raised by residents during the survey are public safety, public transport and access to economic opportunities as well as the quality of the customer experience when they interact with the City. surveypic2
GRCO Executive Director Professor David Everatt says Gauteng had fared “extremely well” during the past two years of global economic recession and that, overall, the quality of life “has risen very slightly for the province as a whole”.
The survey shows that access to public transport in Johannesburg – where more than 75% of households live within a 10-minute walk of a public transport service – is “reasonably good”.
Although 81.1% of bus users are either “satisfied” or “very satisfied”, the number of people making use of the service remains low.
The expansion of Rea Vaya, the City’s Bus Rapid Transit system, will increase the popularity of public transport in years to come, says Fowler.
The Quality of Life Survey shows some positive results in relation to billing. Fifty-one percent of Johannesburg residents were satisfied with the cost of municipal services, whereas 32% were dissatisfied. The rest were undecided.
Fifty percent of residents were satisfied with the quality of billing and 31% dissatisfied. These results were better for white residents (with 64% satisfied) than for African residents (with only 47% satisfied with their bills) and were better than for most other municipalities in Gauteng.  
Customer concerns about billing data are being progressively resolved through the City’s roadmap for revenue enhancement, which includes the removal of backlog of queries and the introduction of new measures to improve the accuracy of bills.
“These are exactly the issues that the City has singled out for special initiatives in line with our Joburg 2040 commitments,” he says.
To address concerns about public safety, the City recently launched a comprehensive plan for visible, ward-based policing – Joburg 10 Plus. Teams of JMPD officers are allocated to each ward and will work with other departments and agencies in a multi-agency approach to counter crime and other social ills, such as illegal dumping, vandalism of infrastructure, urban decay and bylaw infringements.
A Customer Charter on service delivery, launched by the City this week, will commit City employees to address issues raised by customers within certain prescribed times and according to set standards of quality.

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