Cape Town


Survey shows residents are happy with Cape Town


The results of an independent customer satisfaction survey conducted by TNS Research Surveys show that the people of Cape Town are happy with the City’s levels of service delivery.

This adds to the accolades that the City has already received. In the past year, the municipality achieved its sixth consecutive unqualified audit and attracted R1.24 billion in investment. An independent Empowerdex survey also showed that no other metropolitan municipality in the country was providing better services.

“We are seen to excel in the provision of essential services such as water, sanitation and refuse removal. All residents hold our community facilities such as civic halls, libraries and community centres in high regard and they also praise the Fire and Emergency Services,” said Alderman Marian Nieuwoudt, Mayoral Committee Member for Planning and Environment.

The survey was undertaken in the form of 3 000 face-to-face interviews and 701 telephonic interviews in October and November 2009.

For the face-to-face interviews, strict sampling rules were applied to ensure that measures were representative of the population of Cape Town. For the business survey, interviews were conducted telephonically from a City business database. Respondents were randomly selected to ensure a representative sample.

“We started these surveys in 2007/2008 and, for the third year in succession, there has been a further increase in the number of respondents who feel that service delivery has improved significantly in all City Departments in most areas compared to the previous year,” said Niewoudt.

The survey has become an essential means of monitoring trends over time and guiding municipal planning on how best to improve service delivery, allocate resources and identify priorities.

What do residents say?

  • 57% of residents interviewed said that overall, the City of Cape Town’s performance was good, very good or excellent (A 3% increase from 2008/9)
  • 57% of residents rate the City of Cape Town as good, very good or excellent in fulfilling its role as a public service provider (up from 54% in 2008/9 and 46% in 2007/8)
  • residents rating their level of trust in the City of Cape Town as fairly strong, very strong or extremely strong increased by 16%, from 50% in 2007/8 to 66% in 2009/10

Essential services (water, refuse collection, sanitation, roads and lighting) continue to be an area of strength for the City.

“The exception, not surprisingly, is the increased cost of electricity where satisfaction scores have dropped significantly, but the substantial rise in electricity prices is something largely outside the City’s jurisdiction and control,” Alderman Nieuwoudt said.

Community services and environmental and conservation services have mostly remained unchanged or have shown small improvements with, removal of litter and keeping public areas free of overgrown vegetation and alien vegetation, identified as areas of improvement.

Law enforcement scores have remained relatively stable, but taking action against illegal dumping and illegal land invasion needs to be addressed urgently as these scores showed a significant decrease.

Fire and emergency services are important to residents and have generally shown an improvement.

Health is a key concern for the City. Scores remain average to low, especially for clinics, but these services are important.

Housing scores, using a new set of questions for 2009/10, are low and perceptions of these services are impacting negatively on how the City is perceived overall.

Public transport scores have risen from average to good since 2007/8 and 2008/9. Transport is a basic expectation of Capetonians, so improving these services should remain a priority. It is important to note that the City shares this responsibility with other spheres of government.

Job creation, preventing crime, the provision of housing and fighting corruption remain key priority areas. In particular the provision of housing has increased in importance since last year.

Looking ahead and summarising the priorities identified in the survey, Alderman Nieuwoudt said: “Road maintenance, particularly the repair of potholes, remains a concern and this is an area that needs increased focus. Residents would also like to see us taking a tougher stance on illegal dumping and neighbourhood noise levels.

“The survey indicated that housing and healthcare are perceived as critical areas of under-delivery, although these, like transport and community safety, are not the sole responsibility of local government,” she said.

What does business say?

  • 77% of businesses said that overall, the City of Cape Town’s performance was good, very good or excellent (the same as that for 2008/9 and up from 69% in 2007/8)
  • 77% of businesses rate the performance of the City of Cape Town in fulfilling its role as a provider of municipal services as good, very good or excellent (up from 75% in 2008/9 and 70% in 2007/8)
  • 80% of businesses rated their level of level of trust in the City of Cape Town as fairly strong, very strong or extremely strong (up from 78% in 2008/9 and 72% in 2007/8)

The City has been doing well when it comes to delivering on areas that are important to business, particularly in delivering essential services as well as improving most aspects of the billings and payment procedures.

An area of major concern for businesses is affordable electricity tariffs. This can be seen in the context of recent electricity tariff increases by Eskom impacting on business.

Areas that need attention are visible measures to deal with corruption, safety, stormwater flooding and public transport.

Article Issued on behalf of Martin Pollack

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