Governance Performance Index – South Africa 2021

It is abundantly clear that local municipalities in South Africa are, on average, not delivering on their constitutional mandate. Many are on the brink of collapse, undermining the promise of a better life for all. The need for a mechanism to hold local governments to account has never been stronger. In this context, the GPI is a ranking instrument that provides all interested stakeholders with an index of municipal-level governance performance. Governance is ultimately about the efficient and productive allocation of resources. Its presence, or lack thereof, is most keenly felt at the local level. Transparency and accountability are the key building blocks of good governance. At Good Governance Africa, our mandate is to improve government effectiveness and to strengthen citizens to hold their governments to account. The purpose of building a ranking index, in the shape of our enhanced GPI, is to equip citizens to this end.

At its most basic level, the GPI reflects which municipalities are excelling and which require improvement. It is, simultaneously, a tool that aids investment decision-making, as it provides a snapshot of the attractiveness of each local municipality – where local infrastructure is well maintained and key services are delivered efficiently and responsibly, businesses can flourish. Flourishing businesses, in turn, create jobs. The GPI also serves as a performance improvement incentive and a benchmark against which local municipalities can track their performance. It is designed to help municipalities to be more accountable to their citizens for better performance (by aiming to achieve a better score in the next round and moving up the rank). The prime purpose of the GPI is to reflect the importance of good governance at the local municipal level and GGA has designed it as a tool to influence national-level policy that can improve local governance.