the laws of attraction
what other surveys say

‘Quality of Life' surveys at city-region level are fairly rare, but at city-level they are growing in importance, as quality of place becomes an important aspect of city life.

In October 2008, the 'Mastercard Worldwide Centres of Commerce: Emerging Markets Index' looked at indicators such as the economic environment, growth and development, the business environment, the financial services environment, connectivity, education and IT, quality of urban life and risk and security. Out of 65 cities in the survey, Johannesburg came 11th, ahead of Sao Paulo, Moscow, Istanbul and a host of Chinese and Indian cities. It also came some way ahead of Cape Town in 33rd position and Durban in 37th.

More recently, in May 2010, the 'Accenture Institute for Health and Public Service Value' released its Global Cities Forum survey, where it found: “…nearly three out of every four (73 percent) Johannesburg residents saw their city as world class, which puts it on a par with cities like Los Angeles (75 percent), New York City (73 percent) and Singapore (75 percent)”.

The authors wrote that Johannesburg residents felt their city was a good place to live, as “exciting, vibrant and alive with possibilities”, as well as a “great city to work in”.

On the negative side were concerns about corruption, inefficiency of public services, and a lack of transparency in spending local funds. As the authors concluded, “Most Johannesburg taxpayers rate their city as world class, but they want more transparency and accountability from public service organizations”.


so what did we learn?

Most people are happy with their lives in the GCR. But while development victories have been scored in the GCR, some challenges remain. For example, work, security and socio-political issues are some of the main detractors from a good quality of life. Moreover, not all locations in the city-region offer the same opportunities – it matters where you live.
Thus, quality of life depends a lot on having

  • a decent job
  • a decent place to live and
  • a good education.
What is heartening is that other global ‘Quality of Life' surveys underscore our findings of the GCR being vibrant and globally competitive, with significant opportunities.