Gauteng’s metros are under tremendous pressure to maintain their infrastructure and may have to consider austerity measures to cope. Briefing the National Council of Provinces’ select committee on finance, the metropolitan municipalities of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni and Tshwane detailed their struggle to deliver services to growing populations as well as follow through on promises made by previous administrations. The briefing came a year after the 2016 local government elections in which the political landscape shifted significantly. The ANC lost three metropolitan municipalities to coalitions or minority governments led by the DA. According to the Treasury, transfers from the fiscus account for more than 20% of the operating budgets and a much higher proportion of capital budgets in most metropolitan municipalities. While smaller municipalities are more dependent on grants, metros such as the City of Tshwane and Nelson Mandela Bay depend on grant transfers to finance capital budget...

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