The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) has released the results of the latest Quality of Life (QoL) survey, with a notable decline in the province. 

The QoL 2020/21 findings revealed an overall QoL Index score of 61 out of 100. This was presented at a virtual launch hosted by Wits University on September 9, 2021.

This represents a significant decline from the survey conducted in 2017/18, the score then was 64 out of 100. Contributing factors include increased food insecurity, unemployment, and general dissatisfaction with government services.

Junior researcher at GCRO, Sithembiso Pollen, told Wits Vuvuzela: “The results reflect the uncertainties and challenging conditions brought about by apartheid and more recently the covid-19 pandemic.”

According to the QoL survey, the dataset recorded was quantified using the lived experiences of 13 616 residents from October 2020 to May 2021. Moreover, the dataset does not cover the impact of the recent covid-19 third wave, or the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

“We are conscious that they will have further impacted the experiences, perceptions and beliefs of Gauteng residents,” said Rashid Seedat, the executive director of GCRO.

The new themes surveyed include the impact of covid-19, social mobility, and experiences of violence.

This partnership between Gauteng Provincial Government, Wits University, University of Johannesburg and the local government (SALG-Gauteng) is to ensure the data results inform policy and assist in helping “build a spatially integrated, economically competitive, and socially inclusive Gauteng City-Region”.

Pollen said: “Most concerningly, we saw bigger declines in quality of life since 2017/18 for black Africans and women, meaning that the impacts of the pandemic have not been experienced evenly.”

In the report, the GCRO recognises that it will be difficult for the province to recover from one of the most trying times in recent history and improve on the score in future.

FEATURED IMAGE: View of the city of Johannesburg. Photo: Alfonso Nqunjana