The financial sustainability of SA’s eight metropolitan municipalities, which house 40% of the population and contribute 60% to GDP, has weakened steadily over the past five years, to the point where the sector is nearing the minimum threshold for viability.

This was the bleak picture even before the coronavirus pandemic hit. Given that most metros have been operating at losses, the big hit to revenue caused by the Covid crisis could be "disastrous" for these rapidly growing cities.

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