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.

Draft budgets for 2024/25 challenged by residents and opposition parties

The metros shared their draft budgets for the 2024/25 fiscal year by the start of April, including proposed increases in property rates and service charges. Residents’ associations and opposition parties criticised the proposed increases.

eThekwini’s draft budget included increases of over 14% for water and electricity and almost 13% for sanitation. Over 11 000 residents signed a petition opposing the increases and accusing the metro of wasting money. 

Buffalo City proposed a 15.8% increase in electricity tariffs, the highest of all metros and far above the 12.7% increase proposed by Nersa. The metro did promise further consultation in the face of public opposition to the increases. 

In Johannesburg, ActionSA criticised the proposed tariff increases and told the ANC-led coalition to focus on revenue collection and improving service delivery.

Johannesburg struggles with corruption and poor service delivery

South Africa’s largest city was also home to the highest number of corruption cases reported to Corruption Watch in 2023. A week after the report was released, the council speaker (Margaret Arnolds, AIC) confirmed more details of the probe into the GFIS, the internal corruption watchdog that the ANC-led coalition has been pursuing since it came into power.

Opposition parties criticised the coalition’s decision to provide VIP security to all 270 councillors and ActionSA’s criticism of the draft 2024/25 budget referred to the billions wasted by the metro’s municipal entities. The DA caucus left an online council meeting that was plagued by technical issues, with some councillors claiming that they were only informed of the virtual location the night before. 

The ticking time-bomb of broken infrastructure and poor asset management was laid bare in Johannesburg Water’s 2023/24 business plan. The entity needs R64-billion over the next decade to spend on infrastructure, including an enormous backlog of R24-billion which needs to be addressed immediately.

Written by Research Team

May 10, 2024

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