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Industry Research: Public Sector
Finances Across the Major Metropolitan Municipalities Appear to be Holding Firm but Not All are Benefitting
Financial year-end 2019/20 corresponded to the weakest point of the COVID-19 pandemic. Municipalities were faced with hard lockdown for most of the final quarter of the year, and the uniqueness of the situation meant there was no template on how to operate under the prevailing conditions. This was true in all spheres of the government and economy. As income streams suddenly dried up, many residents were unable to meet their municipal charges.
Contrary to market perceptions, the COVID-19 disruptions have not had a uniform negative impact on the financial health of metropolitan municipalities. In fact, better functioning metros of JHB, ETH, CCT have been able to recover quite strongly and now report collection rates in line with pre-COVID levels. Only TSH and MAN report very weak financial positions, but this reflects some operating deficiencies even prior to the pandemic. For BUF, NMB and EKU performance has been reasonably flat.