Informal dwellers unhappy with service

2012-07-30 21:54
Most people living in informal settlements are unhappy with municipal services, according to a survey , and a research expert says the levels of unhappiness have the potential for protest action and even violence.  (File, Sapa)

Most people living in informal settlements are unhappy with municipal services, according to a survey , and a research expert says the levels of unhappiness have the potential for protest action and even violence. (File, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Most people living in informal settlements are unhappy with municipal services, according to a survey released on Monday.

"The plight of people in informal dwelling is particularly acute," research company TNS spokesperson Neil Higgs said in a statement.

The survey of 2 000 metropolitan residents found that 73% of informal dwellers were unhappy with the service delivery they received.

Higgs said the perceptions of service delivery among Soweto and Pretoria residents had deteriorated.

"Perceptions amongst Soweto residents appear to be worsening over time, with unhappiness levels rising from 49% two years ago to 61% now. Pretoria has also seen a jump recently," he said.

Higgs said this could lead to protests.

"TNS has highlighted in the past that these levels of unhappiness have the potential for protest action and even violence, as well as passive resistance.

"In the atmosphere of heightened emotions and rhetoric that are expected to obtain in the run-up to the ANC's Mangaung conference in December, it would not be surprising to see such actions," Higgs said.

In November 2010, TNS found that 51% of respondents in South Africa's eight major metro areas were unhappy with the service delivery they received from their local authority or municipality.

This rose to 58% in February 2011. The latest survey showed it remained relatively unchanged at 56%.

"This suggests that, at least in terms of people's perceptions, no tangible progress is being made in terms of service delivery at local government level," Higgs said.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents were satisfied with the service delivery they received while six percent gave a "don't know" response.

The differences by race were "smaller than often seen"; 56% of blacks were unhappy, 63% of whites, 51% of coloureds, and 55% of Indians/Asians.

The poorest perceptions were held in Pretoria, followed by East London, and then parts of Gauteng.

Cape Town respondents had the best, although not good perceptions, followed by Durban, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, and parts of Gauteng.

Read more on:    local government  |  housing  |  service delivery

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