Cape Town - The city has come out on top in a national survey of the eight largest metros, with more than 70 percent of those surveyed saying they are satisfied with their municipal services.
And it beat the other municipalities for the way in which residents’ complaints about basic services and other municipal issues were handled.
But the overall satisfaction rating for the metros survey was just over 60 percent – the lowest score recorded in the independent SA Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) which was released on Monday.
Consumers have more faith in the SA Revenue Services (Sars) than they do in their local government, the survey reveals.
The SAcsi is a national economic indicator of customer satisfaction with the quality of products and services available to household consumers in South Africa.
“Municipalities should be concerned that even with low expectations, 47 percent of residents rate the quality of the municipal services as well below their expectations, with the exception of the City of Cape Town,” said Professor Adré Schreuder, founder and chair of the SAcsi.
The survey involved a random sample of 2 946 residents across municipalities. Schreuder pointed out the survey included “mainstream” ratepayers who had access to cellphones and services. The index did not include residents of informal settlements.
Cape Town scored a “significant” 17.8 percent higher than the municipal average, followed only by eThekwini (Durban) which was almost 8 percent higher. Because of the wide gap between Cape Town and the other metros, none of them could match the municipal average
The other metros of Ekurhuleni, City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane, Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Mangaung recorded negative satisfaction ratings, with Mangaung faring the worst with a satisfaction rating of negative 17.170 percent.
Of customers surveyed nationally, almost half had experienced some sort of problem related to municipal services, but only one in three actually complained. Schreuder said the ability of municipalities to handle complaints was also low, with an efficiency rating of just 35 out of a possible score of 100.
“Again the City of Cape Town was the exception, scoring 35 percent higher than the average score for complaint handling.”
Of greatest importance to residents across the country was the quality and reliability of their water and electricity, the condition of the roads and the cleanliness of the streets. Potholes and unkempt streets were pain points for respondents who had lost faith in their municipalities ability to adequately deliver services.