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Most metros are struggling to collect revenue

June is the deadline for municipalities to pass their budgets for the new financial year, beginning on July 1. Most of the metros met their deadline, although it is still unclear whether Mangaung passed its budget on time. Opposition parties in many municipalities criticised the budgets passed, although this was expected.

Most metros are struggling with revenue collection; Johannesburg reported that it had a cash-flow deficit of R4-billion, while Tshwane owes Eskom R1.9-billion. 

Service delivery failures stalk the metros

Service delivery has been suffering as a result of metros’ poor financial health, with ageing water infrastructure in Johannesburg leading to multiple pumping failures. The cholera crisis in Tshwane is also partly due to underinvestment in infrastructure, which the DA-led coalition committed to addressing in the 2023/24 budget.

In Ekurhuleni, some residents did not have water or electricity for 20 days, while Cape Town battled to process applications for home solar systems. Ethewini also struggled to provide water to several suburbs due to problems with a pumping station. Concerns were raised in Nelson Mandela Bay over the levels of bromodichloromethane in the water.

Poor governance concerns mount, particularly in Johannesburg

The metros continued to raise concerns about day-to-day governance. Opposition councillors were still without working offices in Ethekwini, a year and a half since the election. The spectre of more no-confidence votes surfaced in Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane and Johannesburg while the DA caucus leader in Ethekwini was sacked by the party. City of Cape Town staff were accused of corruption by an opposition party

Political risk increased again in Johannesburg as the ANC-led government of local unity (GLU) pushed a number of controversial votes through in the June council meeting. The city’s Group Forensics and Investigation Service (GFIS), an anti-corruption unit established in 2016, had its work suspended and all officials implicated in corruption saw their cases abandoned. There are serious concerns about transparency and oversight in Johannesburg. 

Written by Research Team

July 5, 2023

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