By Adriaan Kruger, Moneyweb, 22 October 2019
A research report by the Public Affairs Research Institute (Pari) on the financial state of South Africa’s municipalities has received very little attention in the media, despite its damning findings and its importance for residents and ratepayers – especially with voters heading to the polls next year to elect new councillors.
The report found that governance and financial administration at most municipalities in SA is lacking. Nearly half of the municipalities got their political councils to approve unfunded budgets in the 2019 financial year, meaning they planned to spend money they did not have and would not get.
The report quotes figures from the SA Municipal Workers’s Union (Samwu) showing that 30 municipalities are currently unable to pay salaries, and many more that cannot pay suppliers such as Eskom. […]