AfriForum report: Much room for improvement at Gauteng municipalities

The civil rights organisation AfriForum presented its analysis of Gauteng municipalities for 2019 today. Midvaal’s municipality performed the best with a score of 7,5 out of 10, while the Johannesburg en Tshwane Metros achieved 6,5 and 7 respectively.

“The Midvaal Municipality received clean audits from the Auditor General (AG) for the past few years, proving that it can be trusted with residents’ money. This municipality also boasts low unemployment and satisfactory service delivery. Although there is room for improvement, they deserve their status as best municipality in Gauteng,” says Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum.

According to Brink, there are a number of municipalities that performed dismally. The AG’s audit for Emfuleni – which includes Vereeniging and Vanderbijlpark, and is situated next to Midvaal – could not be finalised because the necessary information was never submitted. The report also found that the poor service delivery, lack of employment opportunities and misappropriation of funds by the Merafong City Municipality, which includes Carletonville, compel people to move away from the area, which hurts the municipality’s status even further.

Brink highlights some good aspects in the report.

“Gauteng is a wealthy province with more watchdog organisations, which affects the municipalities’ performances positively, of course. Aspects such as housing, level of education, drinking water and access to electricity are on the whole stronger than in most other provinces. More than a quarter of the country’s population live and work in Gauteng, and these figures will in future continue to grow. Municipalities and the province will have to plan and make provision for this.”

Brink emphasises that crime and unemployment remain significant problems in Gauteng, as the other provinces also experience.

“Although not everything in Gauteng is bad, improvements on various levels are necessary.”  

Analyses of the North-West and the Western Cape will follow this report. AfriForum will use the reports to monitor all municipalities in South Africa and hold them accountable.

Click here to view the report.

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