COVID-19: Joburg, CT & eThekwini report significant drop in revenue for April

The mayors of Joburg and eThekweni and officials from the City of Cape Town briefed a joint virtual meeting of Parliament’s committees on cooperative governance and traditional affairs on Thursday.

FILE: eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda. Picture: Facebook

CAPE TOWN - The cities of Joburg, Cape Town and eThekweni have all reported a significant drop in revenue for the month of April, after the lockdown kicked in.

The mayors of Joburg and eThekweni and officials from the City of Cape Town briefed a joint virtual meeting of Parliament’s committees on cooperative governance and traditional affairs on Thursday.

They took the committees through their efforts to deal with the coronavirus crisis.

The three metros currently have the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in their respective provinces.

The lockdown has put the metro cities of Joburg, Cape Town and eThekweni under financial pressure.

Joburg's chief operations officer Floyd Brink said, in March, the city collected R3.9 billion for rates and service charges, R400 million more than was budgeted for. But last month, about 112,000 businesses failed to pay up.

“Our budget for April - to collect - was around R3.7 billion and we only collected about R2.8 billion. That then gave us a deficit of around R933 million.”

City of Cape Town official Craig Kesson said: “We also have been experiencing revenue shortfalls of almost a billion rand in the month of April, due to the lockdown… so that is dramatically affecting our cash position.”

eThekwini mayor Mxolisi Kaunda said 95% of rates, water, electricity and other service charges were collected in March: “Now, in April, we only collected 56%. It shows the magnitude of the challenge we are faced with in terms of the lockdown.”

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.