PREMIUM!

Things are grim in our municipalities, but we will prevail

Columns 1 week ago

Residents rightfully demand a high-level of service, no matter what, and auditor-general Kimi Makwetu’s report on the state of municipalities due today will paint a grim picture. But, maybe now it is time to cut municipalities just a little slack.


01 Jul 2020
PREMIUM!
Things are grim in our municipalities, but we will prevail

A pothole on the street in Isando, 30 August 2019. Picture: Neil McCartney

When auditor-general Kimi Makwetu gives his report on the state of municipalities today, he will paint a grim picture. In fact, the situation is worse than he can show. These audits are snapshots of past periods, not up-to-the-minute reports. Today’s briefing won’t reflect all recent revenue shortfalls in towns and cities during lockdown. With so many people out of work or on reduced income, residents struggle to pay municipal accounts. Johannesburg has already under-collected about R3.5 billion. This is widespread. Business Day said: “Some municipalities are already reporting that they cannot afford to pay salaries.” The timing is unfortunate if...

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