Gauteng Finance MEC Barbara Creecy
Image: Gallo Images / Daily Sun / Jabu Kumalo

Municipalities in Gauteng province have spent only 77% of the R19bn earmarked for infrastructure development‚ a situation that has finance MEC Barbara Creecy worried.

Creecy painted a bleak picture on Thursday of the spending records of the municipalities‚ which include three of SA’s eight metros.

According to the unaudited financial statements for the 2017/2018 financial year‚ only two municipalities‚ Mogale City and Merafong‚ had spent more than 80% of their planned capital expenditure‚ while Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni spent 78% and the City of Tshwane 76%.

The preferred rate of expenditure was above 90%. Cumulatively‚ the municipalities spent R14.6bn of R19bn.

Creecy met mayoral committee members for finance from all municipalities to discuss the state of finances in local government‚ said a statement from her office. Co-operative governance‚ traditional affairs and human settlements MEC Dikgang Uhuru Moiloa also attended the meeting.

Creecy singled out Johannesburg for underspending‚ and also pointed to the lack of spending of the Urban Settlements Development Grant (USDG)‚ given to metros for the development of bulk infrastructure for new settlements.

Gauteng has a severe housing and infrastructure backlog‚ while urbanisation in the province has ballooned.

Business Day