Municipal finances in state of crisis

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Alexandra township struggles with inadequate service delivery. Between the potholes, sewage, waste and shortage of water residents are frustrated and are tired of empty promises. Photo: Rosetta Msimango
Alexandra township struggles with inadequate service delivery. Between the potholes, sewage, waste and shortage of water residents are frustrated and are tired of empty promises. Photo: Rosetta Msimango

BUSINESS

With transfers from national government falling, rather than rising, South Africa’s municipalities have needed to rely more on their own revenue streams – predominantly from property rates and service charges for electricity, water, sanitation and refuse removal. This has put more financial pressure on households and businesses, negatively affecting the country’s economic recovery.

PwC South Africa Cities & Urbanisation leader Jon Williams this week said that, with municipal elections happening, political parties were campaigning by promising municipal service delivery outcomes, “but the truth is that the financial health of municipalities remains of particular concern over the short to medium term”, and added that :

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