An independent report published recently by Ratings Afrika gave facts on how the country’s various municipalities manage their money and how this impacts their service delivery. The report ranks each municipality in terms of a number of factors.
Ratings Afrika’s Municipal Financial Stability Index defines financial stability as the ability to deliver services without the level of service quality wavering, and to develop and maintain the infrastructure required by its residents without unplanned increases in rates and taxes.
These abilities signal that the municipality is able to handle unforeseen changes in the financial sector without requiring third-party assistance.
In order to produce a definitive ranking, Rating Afrika reviewed the financial statements of all South African municipalities, which were available through the National Treasury.
When reviewing provincial performance, the report showed that the Western Cape, with an average score of 62, is not only the highest-performing province but also the one that has showed the greatest improvement, having increased its score from 47 in 2013. The Western Cape is the only province whose governmental practices are considered sound.
Shockingly, 47 of the 100 municipalities in South Africa analysed received a score of under 35, while 66 of the 100 received a score of under 50.
The scores of individual municipalities have weakened since 2013, with only three receiving a score of over 80, compared to the nine that scored above 80 in 2013.
Mossel Bay and Swartland drew as 2017’s highest-scoring municipalities in the Western Cape with 84, while Kannaland was the lowest-scoring with 25.
The report also reviewed the performance of the country’s biggest metropolitan municipalities, which account for 40% of South Africa’s total population.
The highest-scoring large metro is Cape Town, achieving a score of 74, with the closest competitors being Buffalo City and Ekurhuleni.
Metropolitan municipalities that achieved the lowest scores were Mangaung, Johannesburg and Tshwane.