The debt owed to municipalities by ratepayers soared to R191bn at the end of the past financial year, with collection of the bulk seen as unrealistic, says a Treasury report on local government finances.

SA’s already ailing municipalities have been hit hard by a national lockdown imposed to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The lockdown resulted in many municipalities suspending credit-control measures to cushion businesses and residents against the economic devastation caused by the lockdown. Johannesburg metro alone is said to have lost more than R1bn in uncollected revenue during the lockdown...

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