Está en la página 1de 5

Cape Town's Performance as a Local Government | Zapreneur

Economic inclusion in South Africa


May 2011 Issue:

Written by Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Filed under:
Local government • Public Expenditure • Public Policy
Tagged: Cape Town, Empowerdex, Johannesburg, Local government, Municipal Performance, Municipal
Productivity Index

Political parties have been arguing that the city they govern is the best run in South Africa. A
cold hard look at available data shows that there is not much difference between Johannesburg
and Cape Town, who occupy the first or second spot in most indices. There is thus no definitive
answer to the question, as to which metropolitan municipal government is the best, however
voters should be circumspect in assessing the claims of political parties. The argument that Cape
Town is exceptional however does not have a solid backing from the data reviewed.

[I have also undertaken a review of local councils, that shows that Western Cape local councils
perform most productively. The data however shows that "good performance" is achieved in
both DA and ANC controlled councils. Hopefully, more to come as I review the data today]

“Johannesburg is the most productive city in South Africa”, protested a seasoned African National
Congress campaigner. I was quizzing her about the argument from the Democratic Alliance that
Cape Town was the best run city in the country. Turns out, there is a truth in both sets of
arguments by the competing political parties. The exchange got me curious about municipal level
indicators. However, being politicians they fail to highlight that there is virtually no difference in
the performance of Johannesburg and Cape Town on a range of indicators.

There is a prior question – what makes a good municipality? Two innovative approaches have
emerged in South Africa. These are:

Citydex produced by ratings agency Empowerdex.

Municipal Productivity Index produced by Municipal IQ.

The indices produced have as expected been taken up by political parties to support their election
efforts, but often with an exclusion of this or that, and an emphasis on areas that highlight their
performance. The description and methodology for these indices are explained at the end of this

Most Productive Metropolitan Council

1 of 5 2011/05/16 10:44 AM
Cape Town's Performance as a Local Government | Zapreneur

The table below provides the data for 2010 using the Metropolitan Productivity Index (MPI). The
table shows that Johannesburg is the most productive using this ranking, but only slightly ahead of
Cape Town. Importantly,everyone of the municipal governments has seen a decline in the
productivity rating, attributed by Kevin Allen from Municipal IQ to the economic recession
experienced in 2009.

It is worrying that we can see the recession feeding through into this year’s MPI
results; in large part due to diminished spending by municipalities and shrinking
revenue bases. This is of especial concern given that service delivery protests have
become an apparent fixture on the South African landscape. Kevin Allen, Municipal

Municipal Productivity Index (2010) for Metropolitan Government

Show entries Search:
Municipal Name Rank Weighted total 2010 Political Party

Johannesburg 1 62.6 ANC

Cape Town 2 61.7 DA

eThekwini 3 60.6 ANC

Nelson Mandela 4 60.2 ANC

Tshwane 5 60.1 ANC

Ekurhuleni 6 59.7 ANC
Mangaung 7 52.6 ANC

Msunduzi 8 50.5 ANC

Buffalo City 9 47.5 ANC

Showing 1 to 9 of 9 entries

mpi 1 metro overall.csv (application/

Municipal performance on basic services

An equally interesting picture emerges when focus shifts to the delivery of basic services.
Empowerdex have evaluated performance based on data from the 2001 Census and the 2007
Community Survey, both undertaken by Statistics South Africa.

Overall Score for Metropolitan Government

2 of 5 2011/05/16 10:44 AM
Cape Town's Performance as a Local Government | Zapreneur

Show entries Search:

OVERALL FINAL SCORE (weighted for increase/decrease in
Rank Index Political Party

1 Cape Town 73.4 DA

2 Johannesburg 70.8 ANC
3 Nelson Mandela 69.1 ANC

4 Tshwane 66.8 ANC

5 Ekhurhuleni 66.4 ANC
6 eThekwini 62.16 ANC

Showing 1 to 6 of 6 entries

Data from Empowerdex analysis called Citydex. Data for the top six only provided in the public

Importantly, the data runs until 2007, meaning that four years of performance is not included in
the calculation. Once again, Johannesburg and Cape Town lead the pack, with Cape Town topping
the rankings.

A more important indicator of performance is the “improvement index” which measures the
extent to which local governments have managed to extend services.

Improvement Index for Metropolitan Governments (2001 -2007)

Data provided by Empowerdex.
Show entries Search:
Improvement Index Improvement Index Political Party

Nelson Mandela 50 ANC

eThekwini 49.1 ANC

Cape Town 48.4 DA

Johannesburg 47.9 ANC
Ekhurhuleni 47.8 ANC

Tshwane 45.9 ANC

Showing 1 to 6 of 6 entries

The table shows that Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Council performs best on the
improvement index, followed by eThekwini. Cape Town is third, only marginally ahead of
Johannesburg and Ekhurhuleni. It must be stressed that the data is for 2007. More recent surveys
of local governments, including the non-financial census of local governments compiled by
Statistics South Africa, may provide an updated picture of performance. Importantly, it shows that
in delivering basic services ANC metropolitan governments have mixed performance, with some
performing well and others lagging behind. It is however unclear how the DA substantiates its
claim that it is the best metropolitan government for basic service delivery based on this data, as

3 of 5 2011/05/16 10:44 AM
Cape Town's Performance as a Local Government | Zapreneur

indicated in a leaflet I have been given by a DA campaigner. It would seem that if one looks at the
“status index” it is the best in terms of delivery, but if one looks at the “improvement index” then it
is ranked third.

Overall, the data indicates an overarching problem of municipal performance, which hovers
around the 50% mark across the two indices assessed. For this elections, the data does however
show that voters need to be circumspect about claims of performance and the crafting of messages
based on the surveys. Importantly, the argument that Cape Town is exceptional however does not
have a solid backing from the data reviewed. In fact, the data suggests another conclusion, that
across the board metropolitan governments have not performed exceptionally well.

Methodological Notes
Municipal IQ, which calculates the Municipal Productivity Index (MPI) as follows:

The MPI combines different types of data to measure how productive the average
resident of a South African municipality can be. The MPI calculates five factors:
poverty levels and the municipal response to poverty; access to a minimum level of
municipal services; economic “intelligence” (infrastructure used by residents to
participate in the economy); financial governance and expenditure levels by a local
council; and vacancy rates in a municipality.

Empowerdex provides several indices in its Citydex report. These are described as follows:

The status index is based on the current proportion of households that have access to a
particular service.
The improvement index is based on the percentage change of households with access to a
particular service. Scores are calculated based on improvements compared to the
percentage increase nationally.
An overall score has also been calculated to minimize the effects of urbanization on the
score. Because urbanization places additional strain on municipalities, an adjustment has
been made to accommodate the increase in households. Municipalities that experienced an
increase in households greater than the national average of 11% received bonus points, while
those that experienced lower increases as well as decreases were penalized. The increase or
decrease was limited to 20 points.

Related Posts:

Western Cape local councils perform most productively — ANC 6, DA 4



Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen is the Chief Editorial Officer at Zapreneur. He is an experienced public
policy analyst and occasional blogger.

4 of 5 2011/05/16 10:44 AM
Cape Town's Performance as a Local Government | Zapreneur

You may leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

Follow the comments via RSS.

5 of 5 2011/05/16 10:44 AM