Consumers not satisfied with metropolitan municipalities

2015-11-08 14:00
The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) is testing an application that allows people to report potholes with GPS co-ordinates. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The Johannesburg Road Agency (JRA) is testing an application that allows people to report potholes with GPS co-ordinates. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg – Consumers have given metropolitan municipalities low satisfaction scores.

This is according to a survey by the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) released on November 4, which measured eight of the largest metropolitan municipalities in the country.

SAcsi surveyed 3 059 residents in a randomly selected sample of residents in the major municipal districts of Cape Town, eThekwini, Tshwane, Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung and Buffalo City.

The average score was 61.8 out of 100, which was slightly up from last year’s score of 60.8  

However, it was significantly lower than the average satisfaction scores across 14 private sector industries reported by SAcsi this year, it said in a statement.

Cape Town scored significantly higher than the average at 71.9 while eThekwini scored 3.6 points higher than the municipal average of 65.4 out of 100.

Tshwane and Johannesburg scored on par with an average of 61.5 (2014: 57.4) and 60.2 (2014: 57.5) respectively.

All the other measured municipal districts scored below industry par: Ekurhuleni (58.3), Nelson Mandela Bay (51.8), Mangaung (51.5) and Buffalo City (47.1).

SAcsi founder, Professor Adré Schreuder, warned that citizens expectations were higher this year.

He said campaigning ahead of the municipal elections next year was likely to push expectations even higher, so municipalities needed to put mechanisms in place to ensure that they could deliver on the promises made to citizens.

Schreuder said the gap between expectations and delivery on quality was already very wide, with Cape Town being the only municipality which came close to meeting its citizens’ expectations, according to the survey.

Municipalities which scored below par such as Nelson Mandela Bay, Mangaung and Buffalo City recorded very low reliability scores.

Cape Town recorded the benchmark trust score of 72.6, followed by eThekwini (67), Johannesburg (65.9) and Ekurhuleni (63.5). Tshwane (63), Nelson Mandela Bay (58), Mangaung (56.1) and Buffalo City (50.3) scored below par. 

SAcsi said levels of complaints in municipalities was extremely high compared to other industries, with around one in three respondents reporting that they had experienced some sort of problem.

The good news however was that handling of complaints had improved in most municipalities. 

Schreuder said the top three issues revolved around keeping municipal areas neat and tidy, maintaining existing infrastructure and providing reliable services.  

Citizens in the worst performing municipalities complained about the lack of delivery of municipal services such as refuse removal, deteriorating of roads, problems with storm water drainage pipes and providing clean drinking water.

Schreuder said the findings identified specific areas for improvement in each municipality and that satisfaction could be improved simply by placing greater emphasis on the problem areas. 

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