SA's 257 municipalities owed almost R140bn by consumers

That’s according to latest figures provided to Treasury by the country's 257 municipalities.

Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - It's emerged that consumers owed the country's municipalities almost R140 billion at the end of March. That’s according to latest figures provided to Treasury by the country's 257 municipalities.

Of this amount, almost R8 billion is owed by government departments.

Treasury says an inverse relationship exists between municipalities' ability to collect its debt and to fund its budgets.

Municipalities have written off over R 1 billion in debt but the debt owing to them continues to rise.

Metropolitan municipalities are currently owed R74 billion, that’s an increase of almost 13% year-on-year.

Households account for more than 77% of that debt followed by businesses. But municipalities also owe their creditors billions.

Municipalities in the Free State have the highest percent of outstanding creditors followed by the North West and Mpumalanga.

Treasury says there is an indication that municipalities are in a cash crunch and, therefore, delaying the settlement of their debt.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)