Gauteng Cooperative Governance MEC Lebogang Maile has painted a bleak picture of the state of municipalities in the province.
He says they are owed close to R80 billion for the non-payment of services.
Unauthorised, fruitless, and wasteful expenditure in the 2021-2022 financial year amounted to over R23 billion.
Maile says of the R79.4 billion owed to municipalities, 75% of this debt is by household consumers.
For its part, the Gauteng government owes municipalities R449 million in unpaid rates and taxes.
He says the Joburg and Tshwane Metros are responsible for the biggest chunk of the unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Only Ekurhuleni, Merafong and Midvaal did not incur unauthorised spending.
Maile says close to R10 billion is currently owed to Eskom by municipalities.
The vacancy rate for municipal senior managers in Gauteng is 30%. Maile says this affects the stability and functionality of municipalities and compromises service delivery.
Outstanding debt to Joburg
Meanwhile, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Dr Mpho Phalatse says the City of Johannesburg is owed an outstanding debt of about R38 billion in unpaid municipal rates, taxes, and levies owed by residents, businesses, and government.
Phalatse says revenue collection is necessary in building a City that is well-run, safe, and business-friendly.
However, the City says residents who are struggling to pay their municipal bills should apply for the Debt Rehabilitation Programme online or at the walk-in centres.
Phalatse explains more in the video below: