Survey shows quality of life is declining in Gauteng

Until last year, the quality of life in the province was showing signs of improvement, but the pandemic reversed this progress.

FILE: The annual survey, now in its sixth year and conducted by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, was released on Thursday. Picture: Gia Conte-Patel/ Pixabay.

JOHANNESBURG - The latest survey measuring the quality of life in Gauteng has highlighted how the pandemic reversed a positive anti-poverty trend in the country’s economic hub.

The annual survey, now in its sixth year and conducted by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, was released on Thursday.

It detailed the lived experiences of over 13,600 residents between late 2020 and early 2021.

Until last year, the quality of life in the province was showing signs of improvement, but the pandemic reversed this progress.

Gauteng is South Africa’s smallest province by size but more people live in this wealthiest province than anywhere else in the country.

According to the latest quality of life survey, satisfaction with life has diminished and life has become more difficult for many people.

“The big factor driving down the overall measured quality of life is government satisfaction. From 51 all the way down to 40,” said Gauteng City-Region Observatory Research Director Graeme Gotz.

Gotz said that there were apparent demographic variations in terms of which groups were most likely to recover from the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns.

“There is deepening inequality, and can we see males with a higher quality of life than females this time around,” Gotz added.

Project Manager Julia De Kadt said children had not been spared by the deteriorating quality of life in the province.

“Households with children, a full 39% had kept those children away from school, even after the schools reopened. The educational impacts of COVID-19 have gone far beyond formal school closures and have disproportionately impacted the children,” she said.

The findings show an overall quality of life index score of 61 out of 100, down from 64.

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