Quality of life survey 2013: City benchmarking report

In 2013, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) ran its third Quality of Life (QoL) Survey in South Africa’s Gauteng Province. This GCRO Research Report is one of many outputs based on the survey results, standing alongside powerpoint presentations summarising findings from the data, vignettes, maps of the month, databriefs, and academic articles. The report compares results across Gauteng municipalities in 13 focus areas, including 'satisfaction with services and government', 'poverty and inequality', 'migration and household mobility', 'headspace' and 'quality of life'. This comparison, or benchmarking, is not intended to set municipalities on a competitive league table against one another. Relative achievements / progress and failures / decline are indeed highlighted, but not in an attempt to give a set of ‘scores’ that establish one municipality as ‘the best’.

GCRO's first QoL survey was conducted in 2009 and realised a sample of 6 636 respondents, 5 821 from within Gauteng and the remainder from selected wider city-region ‘footprint’ areas in three surrounding provinces: Mpumalanga, North West and the Free State. The second survey, conducted in 2011, nearly tripled in size and reached 16 729 respondents, this time all from within Gauteng. In 2013 the sample grew still further to 27 490 respondents, making QoL III probably the largest survey of social attitudes ever conducted in the province.

The enlargement of the survey in 2013 was made possible by a generous financial contribution from each of the three metropolitan municipalities in Gauteng – Tshwane, Ekurhuleni and Johannesburg. These city contributions supplemented GCRO’s own funds from the Gauteng Provincial Government, making up enough to achieve a Gauteng-wide sample with an error bar of just 0.6%.

The sample was distributed across all of the province’s 508 wards. The number of interviews realised per electoral ward – while not quite sufficient to be representative in strict statistical terms – is large enough to enable comparison across wards with a high degree of confidence. This gives Gauteng municipalities, and in particular the three cities where the ward samples were largest, critical local level data for analysis and programme targeting purposes.


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