On the 5th of May, the South African Customer Satisfaction Index (SAcsi) released the satisfaction ratings of eight of the largest local metropolitan municipalities. Consumers of these municipal services gave them an overall satisfaction rating of 60.8 out of 100 (which is – wait for it – the lowest satisfaction score measured by the SAcsi and 17 index points lower than the private sector national satisfaction index measured across 18 industries last year).
Close to 3000 randomly selected, demographically representative residents were selected for this research initiative. These residents all come from the various major municipal districts of Buffalo City, City of Cape Town, City of Joburg, City of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, eThekwini, Mangaung and Nelson Mandela Bay.
Only two municipalities achieved higher scores than the average municipal satisfaction score. The City of Cape Town's score (71.6) was 17.8% higher than the municipal average – a significant margin. eThekwini's score (65.2) was slightly higher at 7.8% higher than the municipal average.
Prof. Adré Schreuder, founder and chair of the SAcsi says that the survey revealed low expectations amongst South Africans of the services provided by their respective municipalities. "Municipalities should be concerned that even with low expectations, 47% of residents rate the quality of the municipal services well below their expectations, with the exception of the City of Cape Town," he comments.
We hate the tax man, but we love the efficiency that SARS offers
The satisfaction score of municipalities is nothing to write home about, but South Africans’ satisfaction with SARS is markedly higher. Although it’s still lower than the national index for private companies, SARS received a markedly higher at 69.4 out of 100. SARS received a better rating because there were fewer complaints recorded and complaints handling was more positively rated.
According to the survey, SARS consumers have significantly higher expectations of this public sector organisation than municipalities. “Unlike municipalities though, SARS services exceeded the expectations of its users by 16%, which had a positive effect on the overall score,” says Schreuder.
The sample comprised 769 randomly selected consumers. Users of eFiling were most satisfied amongst SARS channel users, which include walk-in help offices, e-mail services and call centre services.
The international citizen satisfaction benchmark is set by the USA at 70 out of 100 – significantly higher than the poor score recorded by South African municipalities. By comparison, South Africa’s private sector national score of 77.6 was second best in the world in the 2013 national comparison, at 1.3 points higher than the American score of 76.3.
The full range of national government department services will be measured over the coming year.
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