The 14 municipalities that had invested about R1.5bn in VBS Mutual Bank will have to enter the 2018-19 financial year without the money in their budgets. Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize said in an interview with Business Day last week that the Reserve Bank had indicated they were "very doubtful whether we will be able to get the money". Mkhize said it was important for the Bank to expedite the investigation so those responsible could be charged. Separate investigations of each of the municipalities were also taking place, after which completed reports must be tabled in council. "There must be consequences," Mkhize said. In the meantime, municipalities have been ordered to restructure their budgets so as not to create gaps because of money that "may not be available right now", Mkhize said. VBS was put under curatorship in March because it was facing a severe liquidity crisis and could not repay deposits as and when required. Since VBS has been p...

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