Pretoria - Municipalities are owed a staggering R37.7bn by households, while the government owes them about R3.4bn, according to a report released by the National Treasury on Thursday.
It showed that total aggregated consumer debt to municipalities and metros stood at R62.3bn as at September 30.
Of this, the government accounted for R3.4bn or 5.5%.
Households accounted for the largest component, at R37.7bn or 60.6% of the total.
The budget statement for local government for the first quarter of the 2010/11 financial year showed metropolitan municipalities were owed a total of R35.4bn at September 30.
This is an increase of R3.9bn or 12.4% from the same period last year. The biggest percentage growth from the previous year was in the City of Johannesburg, where it went up 23.5% or R2bn.
Nelson Mandela Bay's (Port Elizabeth's) debtors' book increased 16.5% or R275m, the Ekurhuleni metro's 15.1% or R1.1bn and Cape Town's by 11.8% or R558m.
The statement covers revenue and expenditure, and conditional grant spending of municipalities for the period July 1 to September 30 2010.