Cape Town - Almost two-thirds of the R76.6bn owed to South
Africa's municipalities by consumers is owed by households, says
According to its Third Quarter Local Government
Section 71 Report released on Tuesday, a "certain percentage" of this
is probably irrecoverable.
The report, which deals with local government revenue
and spending for the period July 1 2011 to March 31 this year, finds
that the economic slowdown and "substantial increases" in electricity
tariffs are starting to impact on the ability of consumers to pay for
The municipal financial year ends on June 30.
In a statement issued to mark the release of the
third-quarter report, Treasury said aggregate municipal consumer debts
amounted to R76.6bn on March 31 this year.
"Households account for the largest component of consumer debtors, accounting for 64.9%, or R49.8bn.
"It is accepted that a certain percentage of this debt
is probably irrecoverable, because municipalities have not been
writing off irrecoverable debts on a consistent basis."
The statement did not put a figure on the irrecoverable
debt, saying only that it was "working on reporting processes" to get
better information in this regard.
Outstanding debt due to the country's metropolitan municipalities amounted to R45bn.
"This represents an increase of R7bn, or 18.4%, from the third quarter of the 2010/11 financial year, of which (the) City of Johannesburg accounted for 31.8%, or R14.3bn."
On municipal spending, it says municipalities had
spent, on aggregate, 63.8%, or R163.9bn, of their total
adjusted budget of R256.8bn by March 31 this year.