Kailene Pillay
3 minute read
9 Sep 2016

Prepare for a cleaner city

Kailene Pillay

People of Pietermaritzburg feel a strong sense of community, but their faith in the governance of the municipality is low.

People of Pietermaritzburg feel a strong sense of community, but their faith in the governance of the municipality is low.

About 50% of residents do not believe they are receiving good value when paying for rates and services.

These were some of the results of a municipal survey released at yesterday’s first Executive Committee meeting with the new council.

The Municipal Services and Living Conditions survey revealed poor service delivery and “broken promises” by the municipality as some of the reasons for residents dissatisfaction.

Corruption also contributed towards the residents’ lack of satisfaction with the municipality.

The findings of the survey acknowledged there needed to be a change in the perception of residents.

“Arguably the best way of doing this is to find avenues to improve service delivery,” read the report.

The city’s fire and emergency services received flak from the community — the majority of residents said the time to respond to emergencies is too long.

Although residents voted refuse removal as one the municipality’s strengths, litter was a big issue for residents.

About 74% of those who participated in the survey said their area had moderate to extremely bad litter while over 80% agreed that the city centre had the most litter strewn on the streets.

The survey findings showed that more needs to be done by way of cleaning the city.

“This would also mean the involvement of local communities to take responsibility to clean their areas of residence and business, vendors and entrepreneurs to become responsible to also keep the city clean,” according to the report by the municipality.

Most residents live in formal dwellings as opposed to informal settlements, which is an achievement for the city, but more needed to be done for informal settlements, which was a “point of research and action for the municipality”.

With plans for the Integrated Rapid Public Transport Network (IRPTN) in the pipeline, the majority of residents said they would consider using public transport instead of private vehicles if the existing public transport service was replaced with a new high-quality, high- frequency, scheduled service.

Environment and conservation was given an extremely poor rating with residents saying noise, air and soil pollution were high in Msunduzi.

The results also revealed the public felt the municipality needed to consult better and more efficiently with them
especially during the drafting of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).

Most residents said they needed to be consulted on all levels and more aggressive marketing of the IDP needed to take place.

The report stated that the municipality should heed the call to continuously include the public “to win their support”.

Key findings in the Municipal Services and Living Conditions Survey conducted by the Msunduzi Municipality:

The average age of residents who participated in this survey was 32.

. For every four formal dwellings there is one informal dwelling.

. 61,4% of residents had a flush toilet.

. 72% of residents were happy with their water supply in the last year.

. The main type of electricity supply was with a prepaid card, with 55,6% of residents using this method.

. Over 40% of residents held their area to be good for raising children.

. Majority of people were happy with the community services, but the rating on maintenance of swimming pools was poor to very poor.

. The rating given to preservation of heritage sites was poor to very poor.

. 65,4% said they haven’t been a victim of crime in the past year.

. 32,1% of residents said they had a neighbourhood watch.

. 76,6% of residents were unaware that the municipality put in place. methods to combat corruption and unethical behaviour.

. 44,1% of people found municipal service delivery in the past year to be fair.

. 65% of residents said they had easy access to shops.

. 44,7% said they did not believe parks and recreational facilities were easily accessible.

. 73,3% of residents said they have not reused or recycled waste.