Which is SA's best province?

We look at five key delivery areas to determine which province is best.

Which South African provinces are the best and worst to live in? Statistics from the 2012 General Household Survey can help you decide. Graphic: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - We're a partisan lot are we South Africans, and we're always eager to debate which province or city is the best or worst.

Does the sea make a difference? How important is good weather? The list is potentially endless.

But there are five key areas which may make the argument clearer and which most people can't live without - healthcare; housing; electricity; water; and sanitation and refuse removal.

Overall, Mpumalanga doesn't seem like a great place to live if service delivery is high on your list of priorities when choosing where to lay your roots. You would face the highest rate of water interruptions (61,5% of households), the second highest rate of power outages (28,6% of households), you may be among 6,4% of homes which don't have proper toilets and your refuse may not be removed regularly (as 39,2% of households experienced in 2012).

If power disruptions irk you, then you may want to avoid the North West. Last year, 45,6% of households reported power outages, a significant rate higher than the next highest province, poor Mpumalanga.

The provinces which have the highest number of homes connected to the mains electricity supply are the Northern Cape (91,9%), Free State (91,3%) and the Western Cape (90,5%).

The Western Cape can also boast the lowest number of water interruptions, with only 2.9% households reporting outages that last longer than two days.

While Cape Town has been the scene of so-called faeces wars, with angry protestors dumping human waste at a number of government buildings as they fight for better toilets, the Western Cape actually has the second lowest rate of households without proper toilets at 3,2%.

So where is the best place to live? And would you move there?

In a nutshell:

• Residents of Limpopo are most satisfied with their public health facilities (67.5%). They are also less likely to live in informal dwellings (4.2%), but refuse removal courtesy of their municipalities is a major problem with only 20.8% of residents benefiting from such services.

• Not only are North West residents most dissatisfied with their public health facilities (15.6%), but they are also most likely to live in informal dwellings (22.8%) and are left in the dark more often than the rest of the country (45.6%).

• Interestingly enough, KZN lags behind the country with the number of households connected to the electricity grid (79%) compared to 91.9% in the Northern Cape, but it has the fewest power interruptions (5.5%).

• Gauteng residents are most satisfied with private health facilities (94.7%). The province also boasts the best sanitation provision record with only 1.8% of the population not having access to proper toilets (compared to 13.4% in the Eastern Cape) and access to refuse removal services from the various municipalities is at 90.9%.

• In terms of water provision, residents of Mpumalanga have the most interruptions (61.5%) of two days at a time or 15 days during a 12 month period, while Western Cape residents have a much more consistent water supply, accounting for just 2.9% of interruptions to service.

(A comparison of household ratings of the quality of water services provided by the

municipality as good, and that reported water interruptions, by province, 2012. Graphic: Stats SA)

• If these numbers are to be believed, Gauteng is up there as one of the best provinces to live in, while the North West is to be avoided at all costs.

What do you think? Leave your opinion in the comment box below.