Municipality comes out tops in quality-of-life survey
Midvaal, a tiny municipality south of Johannesburg with 100,000 residents, has come out tops in a Gauteng survey measuring quality of life – but the area is also home to those worst affected by poverty.
But the area is also home to the poorest of the poor
Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane yesterday announced that Midvaal, the recent recipient of two substantial investments, came out more favourably than other municipalities in the Gauteng City Region Observatory report.
Midvaal covers areas such as Meyerton, Henley-on-Klip, Walkerville and De Deur, and is the best of the surveyed municipalities for overall quality of life.
Midvaal mayor Timothy Nast said at a press conference that “good governance” and “investor confidence” were the main reasons his council had the lowest unemployment rate in the province, 26%.
Municipalities with high unemployment rates include Emfuleni, south of Johannesburg (59%), Johannesburg (41%) and Tshwane (40%).
“With the Heineken brewery plant and Ferrero-Rocher investing in our area, many jobs were created,” said Nast.
He conceded that Midvaal was hit by a service-delivery protest three months ago, when residents marched to the council offices because they did not want to pay for municipal services.
He said the issue had been resolved and that most residents, most of them working class, could afford to pay their rates.
“Midvaal has the lowest incidence of absolute destitution: only 3% of households lacked money to feed children in the 12 months preceding the survey,” he said.
Though Gauteng residents are generally satisfied with their quality of life, service delivery and poverty were regarded as pressing concerns. About 40% of Gauteng residents say they are “poor”.
The survey found that, of the more than 6000 residents interviewed, about 46% viewed crime as a serious problem.
About 14% were unemployed, and 7% were infected with HIV/Aids.
The survey also found that 21% of the respondents had been victims of crime in the past 12 months.
“We have, on many platforms, already admitted that crime cheats our communities of a better quality of life.
“That is why we have given the Gauteng aggravated robbery strategy and other anti-crime programmes our utmost support,” Mokonyane said.
Among those interviewed, about 1.5% lacked sanitation – below the level of a chemical toilet – and the worst affected (5.1%) live in the Midvaal Municipality.