Gautengers happy with local government - report

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Johannesburg - With just a week to go before the Local Government Elections on 18 May, officials in Gauteng say they are happy with the performance of local government in the province over the past five years.

The provinces' Premier Nomvula Mokonyane on Wednesday released the end of term report on Gauteng municipalities which painted a positive picture of a growing province where citizens were "generally satisfied" with service delivery.

The Department of Local Government also released a report which it said showed that satisfaction among businesses and citizens in local government performance in Gauteng rates between 40 to 50 percent.

Its findings were based on an analysis of citizen and business satisfaction surveys in Gauteng between 2006 and 2011. Mokonyane told reporters that she was also satisfied with the provincial government reports which showed that 11 of Gauteng's 15 municipalities received clean audits from the Auditor General in the last financial year, something officials attributed to stringent financial controls and management.

"During the period under review, we have witnessed the creation of accountability and oversight structures to ensure that both the administration and concillors become answerable to their communities on service delivery matters," she said.

The province had also seen "improvements" in the provision of basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity and road infrastructure development.

The Premier was also quick to point that while the report would be seen as "electioneering" as it is released days before the elections she was confident that "our work we are releasing today will stand the test of time as it is based on facts".

"Despite the silly season we are in right now, our aim is to allow the citizens of this province an opportunity to assess things as the term of the current local government come to an end," she said.

The report, which covers the period from 2006 to 2010, further shows that all Gauteng municipalities had managed to spend 100 percent of their infrastructure funds with budget spent exceeding R5 billion over a period of four years.

The quality of life in Gauteng had continued to improve over the years with satisfaction levels for electricity supply suggesting that half of the consumers in municipalities were satisfied while half indicated municipalities were performing below par.

The report did admit that there were areas where municipalities recorded unsatisfactory results with communities still expressing unhappiness over issues such as refuse collection and water supply. The mushrooming of informal settlements also remained a challenge in most parts of the province with about 85 areas formalized by 2008 while 36 were eradicated.