MLGI research ranks the cities in South Africa

MLGI announces the release of the Capable Cities Index: The capacity of cities (by Dr DM Powell and M O’Donovan). The CCI is a composite index that ranks the 27 largest cities in South Africa on the basis of their consistency in maintaining high levels of capacity, performance and compliance over the period 2010 to 2014. A capable city is one that maintains consistently high scores in all three components of capability.

 The CCI is comprised of three separate indices: The Capacity Index (CI), the Performance Index (PI) and the Compliance Index (COI). The Capacity Index (CI) launched today is the first of the three to be published. It measures the capacity of cities to consistently fill staff and management positions and make permanent appointments in the posts of chief financial officer and municipal manager in the period 2010-2014. As it is within the power of municipalities to fill their own funded posts, these variables provide a credible measure of “basic capacity” in the 27 cities.

The other two indices will be published in the course of the year.

With about 60 percent of the population and about half of the poor living in urban areas, our 27 major cities play a crucial role in the country’s political, economic and social life. The cities also face major challenges. The legacies of apartheid social-engineering are still highly visible and deeply embedded in the spatial geography of cities and the unequal distribution of wealth and opportunity.

Today, urban development and the role of cities in promoting economic growth and greater equity have risen to the top of the policy agenda, as evidenced by the publication recently of Government’s Integrated Urban Development Framework. Building capable cities is essential if we are to realize the goal of the national Development Plan to build a capable state. The problem is that there is no consistent framework for measuring the capability of cities. The CCI seeks to fill that gap.