Exactly how well, or not, is a municipality performing in terms of service delivery, leadership, planning and administration?

Good Governance Africa (GGA) has launched a reliable tool to help you answer this question, for any one of 257 municipalities throughout South Africa.

The 2024 Governance Performance Index (GPI) report is the latest iteration of our flagship governance assessment tool. It provides a holistic analysis of the state of local governance within these municipalities.

In addition to its various methodological enhancements, the 2024 GPI benefitted from the recent release of a host of municipal-level datasets including those provided by StatsSA’s Census 2022, the Auditor-General of South Africa and the Department of Water and Sanitation’s relaunched Drop Programme reports.

The fact that we are able to freely conduct a rigorous analysis which relies on publicly available data sources such as these in a country like South Africa, testifies to the value of transparent governance institutions.

The 2024 GPI report has been the subject of media coverage in recent days, with emphasis generally placed on municipalities the GPI identified as top-performing. As the report highlights, among the factors that are most influential in shaping municipal performance today are a municipality’s classification type, the urban-rural geography of a municipality, the extent of political stability, and previous GPI performance.

History also plays a crucial role in determining municipal functionality today, with municipalities that fall within areas formerly governed by the Apartheid-era homeland system often struggling to fulfil their mandate, especially as it concerns the provision of basic services like water, sanitation and waste removal.

Through a case study of the Winnie Madikizela-Mandela local municipality in the Eastern Cape, the report also explores how a combination of positive municipal leadership and vital support provided by other societal stakeholders can improve the quality of governance for the benefit of citizens within a historically deprived area.

As part of the coverage of the GPI, GGA is available for media comment in print, television and radio. Interested journalists can get in contact with the team responsible for creating the GPI through emailing info@gga.org.

The full GPI report is available for download here, while this interactive dashboard also provides stakeholders with the opportunity to interact further with the data behind the report.