2016-09-14 06:00

A STRONG sense of community with an attractive appearance is how Msunduzi residents described what it is like living in the city however key of their list of things to improve is the safety and cleanliness of areas. The findings came from the recent Municipal Services and Living Conditions Survey.

Residents were frank in their opinions of what it is like living in Msunduzi stating that they did not believe they were getting value for their rates.

“There needs to be a change in perception of respondents in the service that they are receiving from the Msunduzi municipality and arguably the best way of doing this is to find avenues of service delivery to the customers,” read the report.

Litter was one of the main gripes of both residential and business districts while the general feeling of refuse removal was satisfying in that the municipality were clearing refuse at least once a week in all areas. Residents however are not as involved in recycling activities as they should be. “Refuse removal is a strength of the municipality...More needs to be done by way of cleaning the city. This would also mean the involvement of local communities to take responsibility to clean their areas of residence and business, vendors and entrepreneurs become responsible to also keep the city clean.”

An area that the municipality can improve on is informal settlements by managing the growth of settlements, providing state subsidised housing, providing refuse removal and sanitation are all highlighted areas of improvements.

While residents praised the work of the municipality in terms of road markings, fixing faulty traffic lights and clear signage, the municipality needs to improve of fixing the state of the roads, fix potholes and ensure that all areas have sufficient traffic and street lights.

Illegal dumping and illegal trading were also highlighted as areas that need attention as well as noise and disturbances in residential areas that need to be acted on.

Overall residents said that they were happy living in Msunduzi and strongly agreed that it is a good place to live, they have access to clean water, electricity, parks and other facilities however it is not without its challenges that, they hope, will be addressed by the management of the city.

Municipal performance

The majority of the sample said that they were not aware of the municipality’s system to combat and report crime and unethical behaviour of its employees and councillors. More therefore can be done to promote the system that is in place to root out crime.

The survey findings stated that more needs to be done by the municipality in order to keep the city green and govern the municipality better.

Municipal actions that need to be revisited according to the report are, consulting citizens, explaining what level of service delivery that should expect, all citizens should have equal access to services, citizens should be told how services and departments are run as well as the costs of running and who is in charge, citizens should be encouraged to lodge a complaint or enquiry and above all citizens should get value for their money and municipal funds spent wisely.

The reasons for dissatisfaction include broken promises by the municipality, corruption, unemployment and lack of housing.

KEY findings in the Municipal Services and Living Conditions Survey conducted by the Msunduzi Municipality:

The average age of residents who participated in this survey was 32. The sample did not have many educated respondents. Majority of the sample were unemployed and scholars.

•For every four formal dwellings there is one informal dwelling.

•61,4% of residents had a flush toilet.

•72% of residents were happy with their water supply in the last year.

•The main type of electricity supply was with a prepaid card, with 55,6% of residents using this method.

•Over 40% of residents held their area to be good for raising children.

•Majority of people were happy with the community services, but the rating on maintenance of swimming pools was poor to very poor.

•The rating given to preservation of heritage sites was poor to very poor.

•65,4% said they haven’t been a victim of crime in the past year.

•32,1% of residents said they had a neighbourhood watch.

•76,6% of residents were unaware that the municipality put in place methods to combat corruption and unethical behaviour.

•44,1% of people found municipal service delivery in the past year to be fair.

•65% of residents said they had easy access to shops.

•44,7% said they did not believe parks and recreational facilities were easily accessible.

•73,3% of residents said they have not reused or recycled waste.

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