the laws of attraction
content and cheerful

Between September and October 2009, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) administered a ‘Quality of Life’ Survey to 6 636 respondents across the city-region. The survey was used to gather data on multiple dimensions of quality of life and permit multivariate analysis using both objective and subjective indicators. The starting point was to ask respondents to think about their lives and tell us, overall, whether they were satisfied.

reasons to be satisfied…or dissatisfied…with living in the GCR

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Overall, the sample tended towards the positive: 46% were satisfied or very satisfied (16% in the latter category), a fifth (21%) were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and the remaining third (34%) were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied (10% in this last category).

This is important – city-regions are robust, energetic, creative, wealthy, stylish places, and it should not be surprising to find that almost half of the respondents living in the GCR feel satisfied with their lives. Given the bad press that the grime and crime that accompanied the transition to democracy has attracted, it is easy to lose sight of this basic fact – that only a minority of those living in the GCR are dissatisfied.

Most of those who were satisfied, when asked why they said so, had no answer beyond the fact that they were happy or satisfied. Others ascribed it to their friends or family, one in ten had achieved their dreams, a similar proportion had ‘no worries’, others felt cared for, and finally – the smallest proportion of those who were satisfied – had either work or sufficient money to feel good.

It is worth noting that the vast majority of those who gave positive reasons cited non-material factors – only a few respondents cited their jobs or wealth as the reason for their positive feelings.