The past week saw the release of the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) Quality of Life (QoL) survey, which is released every two years, and seeks to examine the broad levels of satisfaction experienced by residents in Gauteng.
The survey, which was conducted approximately 18 months after the coalition government stepped into office, provided some useful insights into perceptions held by residents at the municipal level, using a sample size with a low margin of error.
Among some of the many findings were that satisfaction levels with respect to water services, waste removal, energy, roads, emergency services, metro police services had increased since 2016; that overall satisfaction with local government in Johannesburg had increased by 4%, while overall dissatisfaction decreased by 2%. Access to services in RDP houses stood at 15% - up from 13% in the previous survey, while only 9% of residents were found to not have any streetlights in their area, compared to the Gauteng average of 18%. Compared to the Gauteng average of 27%, only 19% of Joburg residents did not have access to storm-water facilities in their area.
The upshot of this all is that with respect to the residents’ quality of life, the survey noted improvements in perceptions by residents namely in the categories of family, community, connectivity, security and socio-political attitudes.
But there have been challenges, too, at both local and national level - within the first quarter of 2018 the country entered a recession, the cost of living was increased for many of our residents through unaffordable VAT and fuel prices, while levels of corruption amounting to over R20 billion were uncovered, and the R170 billion infrastructure backlog remains. This means that that moves to meaningfully improve the lives of residents have been compromised.
The real test for the current administration will come when the next survey is conducted, the results of which should be released in 2020. By then, it would have had the opportunity to improve its budgeting process, and the effects of the Diphetogo-programme can be assessed.
Photo Credit: @UncleScrooch on Instagram