The monthly MetroMonitor report is a summary of all the important events across the eight metros. The MetroMonitor project is supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF). To read the full report please click here. To find out more about the FNF and its work, please click the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Almost every metro is in crisis as councils shuffle into their third year

Events in the metros did not slow down through the festive period and the start of 2024, and government failures were a depressingly large part of the news cycle. Poor audits for the 2022/23 financial year, violence in council, civil servants shot and murdered – these were just the loudest warnings that local government is still in decline.

2022/23 audit outcomes and other signs of poor financial health

Tshwane was three months late in submitting its financial statements to the Auditor-General (AG) and three months behind on its payments to Eskom. The metro also failed to spend tens of millions in grant money from the province. 

Opposition parties in Ekurhuleni questioned why the finance MMC had not released the AG’s report to them. Both Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City received worse audits for 2022/23 than the previous year.

The poor financial management cited by the AG in her Buffalo City report was evident across the metro. The metro implemented a financial recovery plan while it scrapped community programmes and pumped money into costly ‘vanity projects’.


Murder and violence flare up as coalition tempers rise 

In Johannesburg two people were killed and the chief whip shot three times at a primary school. A procurement adjudicator was killed in Ekurhuleni and a mayoral committee member in Buffalo City was left fighting for her life after being shot in front of her house. Violence in an Ekurhuleni council meeting left the DA threatening to press charges against EFF members.

The ANC faced internal pressure to leave coalitions with the EFF in Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni while the DA-led alliance’s decision to create a deputy mayor position was heavily criticised by opposition parties. The IFP and DA planned a motion of no confidence against the eThekwini mayor.

Written by Research Team

February 16, 2024

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