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Durban is SA’s new friendly city

The debate about whether Cape Town or Joburg is the friendliest city has been settled. It’s neither. It’s Durban.

This is one of the findings in this year’s Anholt-GfK Roper City Brand Index, which assesses the images of 50 cities worldwide.

In polls in 10 countries 5000 people were quizzed on their views of the cities.

Several topics were explored – including whether the citizens were “warm and welcoming”.

Other topics were climate, cleanliness, environment and presence.

The poll asked for a rating of the cities’ international status, contribution to science and culture, and quality of governance.

Cape Town (placed 42nd) fared best among the South African cities, with Johannesburg at 44 and Durban at 47.

But respondents felt that Durban people were the nicest. Cape Town and Johannesburg have risen one spot since the last index was compiled.

“There is cause to believe South Africa’s attractiveness as a destination for, among other things, investment and tourism, is increasing,” said Brand SA CEO Miller Matola.

Johannesburg had the second-highest increase in index score, overhauling Mexico City. Both cities, however, had the “dubious honour”, of being labelled dangerous and violent … [though] it seems Johannesburg might be moving out of that territory.”

Brand SA research manager Petrus de Kock said that though the cities’ improvements seemed small they were significant.

The usual suspects took top honours globally – London in pole position, followed by Sydney, Paris, New York and Rome.

The bottom three are Cairo, Mumbai and Doha, in the United Arab Emirates, last at 50th.