Durban has for a third consecutive year, been ranked the top South African City with the highest quality of life in the international Mercer’s 19th Quality of Living survey. 

Mayor Zandile Gumede said this proves that eThekwini Municipality has one of Africa’s best service delivery programmes and continues to make a positive impact in the lives of its residents.

“Our Municipality continuously strives to ensure that our 3.7 million residents enjoy an improved quality of life through the services we render. The Municipality’s new Radical Economic Transformation Framework aims to accelerate service delivery, provide economic opportunities to poor and unemployed residents and grow the small business sector,” she said.

Councillor Gumede said over the past 23 years into our democracy, eThekwiniMunicipality has improved access to public services such as electricity, water, sanitation, roads, solid waste, community and emergency services and free basic services.

The annual survey ranked Durban the best City in South Africa, placing it 87th in the world. This is followed closely by Cape Town and Johannesburg in 94th place and 96th place, respectively.

Last year, Durban achieved this accolade coming ahead of Cape Town and Johannesburg and was placed the Second Best City in Africa following Port Louis in Mauritius.

Vienna occupies first place for overall quality of living for the 8th year running, with the rest of the top-ten list mostly filled by European cities: Zurich is in second place, with Munich (4), Dusseldorf (6), Frankfurt (7), Geneva (8), Copenhagen (9), and Basel, a newcomer to the list, in 10th place. The only non-European cities in the top ten are Auckland (3) and Vancouver (5). The highest ranking cities in Asia and Latin America are Singapore (25) and Montevideo (79), respectively. 

Mercer’s authoritative survey is one of the world’s most comprehensive and is conducted annually to enable multinational companies and other organisations to compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. In addition to valuable data, Mercer’s Quality of Living surveys provide hardship premium recommendations for over 450 cities throughout the world, this year’s ranking includes 231 of these cities. 

Mercer’s survey also includes a city infrastructure ranking that assesses each city’s supply of electricity, drinking water, telephone and mail services, and public transportation as well as traffic congestion and the range of international flights available from local airports. Singapore tops the city infrastructure ranking, followed by Frankfurt and Munich both in second place.