Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

The overall quality of life in Gauteng has improved, despite growing dissatisfaction with service delivery and difficult economic times,  a survey has found.

The  results of the fifth Quality of Life Survey conducted by  the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) comes less than a year ahead of what is set to be the highly contested 2019 national polls in which Gauteng is expected to be a key electoral battleground.

The DA, whose premier candidate is Tshwane mayor Solly Msimanga, hopes to push the ANC below 50% of the provincial support, paving the way for him to  replace premier David Makhura.

The 2017/2018 survey has also found that residents’ satisfaction with all spheres of government increased . The GCRO has run its Quality of Life survey every two years since 2009. A total of 24,889 respondents were interviewed across Gauteng.

GCRO executive director, Dr Rob Moore, said it was clear that satisfaction with the government had improved since the last survey in 2015/2016, in particular with regards to the provincial government.

“Some 44% of residents were satisfied with the provincial government performance compared to 39% in the 2015/2016 survey. While this might seem low at first glance, the recent increase in satisfaction with the provincial government was significant, and this sphere of government now commands more satisfaction than national government [which stands at 43% satisfied] and local government [at 38%],” Moore said on Tuesday.

In terms of service delivery, the survey used a services satisfaction index made up of 10 variables which included eight “basic services” plus the cost of and billing for services.

To give an overall sense of satisfaction with services provided by the government, the levels of satisfaction across 10 service areas were combined into a single index.

The survey showed that overall satisfaction was at 61%, but that there had been “a slow but steady decrease in this index since 2013/2014”.

The report found it was “relatively high”, though overall satisfaction across the province was falling over time.

GCRO research director Graeme Götz said, “Although province-wide satisfaction has decreased over the last three surveys, there are clear municipal variations in this trend. Satisfaction is steadily increasing in Ekurhuleni and Midvaal, while decreasing in Johannesburg and Tshwane.”

Götz said it did not mean that satisfaction in the two metros was down across the board, as satisfaction with some services was up. He however said the overall decline “is mainly driven by lower satisfaction with government provided dwellings, services cost and billing”.