NELSON Mandela Bay (NMB) residents are generally proud of the metro, identify strongly with it and would encourage others to visit, according to a recent survey into perceptions of the metro.
The extensive joint survey conducted by Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s (NMMU) business school and department of computing sciences focused on NMB as a destination for business, and sporting and cultural events.
“We decided to go out and find out what people want,” c o-coordinator Professor Andre Calitz said.
The survey conducted by NMMU Masters in Business Administration (MBA) students formed part of the Project Nelson Mandela Bay with an initial sample of 952 residents and was followed up by a wider survey sampling an additional 4 659 individuals, with 1 271 completing an online survey, while the other 2 388 were manually interviewed.
“The idea was not only to see what people say about business, sport and culture, but to look at the broader perceptions of citizens,” Calitz said. The research team consisted of six MBA students – Bianca Mathe, who looked at perceptions of NMB: Dean Hastie, who looked at business events; Steffen Solomon, who focused on sporting events; Sasha Boucher, who focused on cultural events; Terry Kanyutu, who looked at communication strategies and media usage; and Kuda Nyamutsambira, who focused on developing an integrated overall framework to promote NMB as a destination.
From the results, NMB residents associated the city with “friendly city”, “the water sport capital of SA” and the “green city”.
Survey results included: • 84% of respondents said they were proud of NMB; • 83% identified strongly with NMB; and • 85% said they would encourage others to visit Nelson Mandela Bay.
In addition, the research indicated that 45% of residents had lived for more than 20 years in NMB, 28% for 10-20 years and 15% for five to nine years.
Calitz said the survey sought to determine which events residents would like and support, what was the best way to communicate with them, and to establish the general attitude of residents to their home city.
Looking at business in the Bay, the majority of respondents believed NMB had the necessary infrastructure to host business events, and that NMB should build a business centre, and host more exhibitions, trade shows and conferences.
Nine out of 10 of those surveyed did not feel the Bay could be associated with employment. The survey found respondents would prefer to attend music events (80%), followed by sport (69%), business (67%), arts (63%) and culture (46%), and religious events (34%).
The survey found that the majority of respondents read The Herald (39%), Weekend Post (14%), Die Burger (13%) and community papers such as PE Express (12%).