South Africa’s major inland metros are spending more money on municipal services per resident than many of their coastal counterparts.
Total spending by municipalities amounted to R310-billion in 2016‚ according to Statistics SA’s non-financial census of municipalities report for the same year.
That averages out to R5‚584 for every woman‚ man and child‚ based on the country’s recorded population of 55.6-million in 2016.
Tshwane‚ Ekurhuleni‚ Johannesburg and Mangaung spent between R8‚035 and R8‚446 per resident with Tshwane the top spender‚ followed by Ekurhuleni‚ Johannesburg and Mangaung.
The coastal metros spent less‚ with Cape Town‚ eThekwini‚ Nelson Mandela Bay and Buffalo City spending between R7‚708 and R6‚742 per resident.
The report noted that rural municipalities located mostly in KwaZulu-Natal‚ Eastern Cape and Limpopo‚ exhibited one striking difference in how they spent their money: they devoted very little to purchasing electricity.
Urban municipalities could spend up to a quarter of total expenditure buying electricity from Eskom‚ which they then sold onto residential‚ business and industrial customers.
This process generated a financial surplus that they used to fund other activities.
Many rural municipalities‚ however‚ did not take part in the electricity trade.
Eskom provides power directly to customers in rural areas without the municipality taking on the role of middle-man.
The report said that as a group‚ rural municipalities spent only 6% of their budgets on purchasing electricity in 2016 – far lower than the national municipal average of 23%.