Methodology, Sources and Acknowledgements
We have taken care to collect, capture and cross-reference the information on this website as accurately as possible. It should, however, be recognised that some types of information listed change frequently. It is inevitable that some of the information will be incorrect at source or become outdated after publication. We, therefore, take no responsibility for the accuracy of the information on this website. Where practical, we reference and link to the original source reports.
If you notice any errors or omissions, please contact us so that we may correct them.
Municipal Survey Process
We update the website throughout the year as we become aware of changes.
Contact details, municipal descriptions, and particulars of political and administrative personnel are updated primarily via an annual survey that we conduct with all municipalities. The latest survey started in September 2023 and concluded in January 2024, and information should be considered updated during this period.
While we go to great effort to gather complete and accurate information, some municipalities are more responsive than others. Where possible we cross-reference against municipal websites, information provided by National Treasury, SALGA, CoGTA and other credible sources.
Municipal Area and Maps
Municipal area information is supplied by the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB). Area information was last updated in May 2021, after the ward delimitation process preceding the 2021 Local Government Elections. All the underlying source material for the maps is supplied by the GIS/IT department of the Board. For more information on the MDB, refer to www.demarcation.org.za.
Demographic information is provided by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The 2022 statistics are Census 2022 data. The 2016 statistics are Community Survey 2016 data (restated to reflect the municipal demarcations that took effect in August 2016). The 2011 statistics are Census 2011 data (also restated to reflect the municipal demarcations that took effect in August 2016). Historical information for disestablished municipalities is Census 2011 data. For more data and publications from Stats SA, refer to www.statssa.gov.za.
Composition of Municipal Councils
Council seats are based on information published by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). It reflects the 2021 Local Government Election results in respect of all Metropolitan and Local Municipalities, and has been updated to include by-elections up to 28 February 2024. As regards District Municipalities, full council information (where available) is supplied by the relevant municipalities. In cases where the council seat list is followed by '40% PR Seats', the information only reflects the 40% directly elected proportional representation seats as reported by the IEC, and not the full council. For more information on the IEC, refer to www.elections.org.za.
Audit Outcomes are sourced from the Consolidated general report on the audit outcomes of local government, PFMA, published annually by the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA). The full reports are available from AGSA’s offices or at www.agsa.co.za.
The terminology used is described by AGSA as follows:
Clean audit outcome: The financial statements are free from material misstatements (in other words, a financially unqualified audit opinion) and there are no material findings on the quality of the annual performance report or non-compliance with legislation.
Financially unqualified with findings: The financial statements contain no material misstatements. Unless the Auditor-General expresses a clean audit outcome, findings have been raised on on either the annual performance report or non-compliance with legislation, or both these aspects.
Qualified audit opinion: The financial statements contain material misstatements in specific amounts, or there is insufficient evidence for the Auditor-General to conclude that specific amounts included in the financial statements are not materially misstated.
Adverse audit opinion: The financial statements contain material misstatements that are not confined to specific amounts, or the misstatements represent a substantial portion of the financial statements.
Disclaimer of audit opinion: The auditee provided insufficient evidence in the form of documentation on which to base an audit opinion. The lack of sufficient evidence is not confined to specific amounts, or represents a substantial portion of the information contained in the financial statements.
The website includes financial figures and information in respect of financial years where audits have not been completed or where audit reports are not yet generally available. The audit result is, therefore, shown as 'n/a'.
Financial information is sourced from figures made available by the National Treasury on its website at http://mfma.treasury.gov.za and/or the financial statements of the municipality concerned.
- If the source is indicated as ‘A1’ the figures are sourced from the Consolidated A1 Schedules published by National Treasury as part of the annual MTREF process. The year of the relevant A1 Schedules is also indicated.
- If the source is indicated as 'C1’ the figures are sourced from the Consolidated S71 C1 Schedules, published quarterly by National Treasury as part of the S71 in-year management process. The applicable year and quarter of the relevant C1 Schedules are also indicated.
- If the source is indicated as 'Annual Report’ the figures have been captured from the municipality's annual report. The applicable year is also indicated.
- 'Unaudited' figures should be treated with caution. Significant variances from prior-year audited figures are indicative that the figures may not be reliable.
- Schedule A1 and Schedule C1 reports are submitted in the format for municipal financial statements as prescribed by the Municipal Budget and Reporting Regulations. The figures are standardised to the prescribed format and may differ from the Audited Financial Statements.
- All financial figures are rounded to the nearest R'000. R0 values are reflected as ‘-’. Values that are unavailable are reflected as ‘n/a’.
Links are provided to relevant source reports under the Resources section for each municipality.
Unauthorised, Irregular, Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure
The figures for Unauthorised, Irregular, Fruitless and Wasteful (UIF&W) Expenditure are supplied to us by the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA). If the figures are unavailable in this report, they may be sourced from the Annual Financial Statements of the relevant municipality.
The terminology is described by AGSA as follows:
Unauthorised Expenditure: Expenditure that was in excess of the amount budgeted or allocated by government to the auditee, or that was not incurred in accordance with the purpose for which it was intended.
Irregular Expenditure: Expenditure incurred without complying with applicable legislation.
Fruitless and wasteful expenditure: Expenditure that was made in vain and could have been avoided had reasonable care been exercised. This includes penalties and interest on late payments, as well as payments for services not utilised or goods not received.
Note: From the 2014/15 financial year onwards, the figures reflected do not include UIFW Expenditure of any municipal entities under the municipality's control. For years prior to that, the figures do include UIFW Expenditure of municipal entities under the municipality's control.
Employment statistics are sourced from the Non-financial census of municipalities, published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Up to 2018/19 the census was conducted annually, thereafter biennially. The 2020/21 report was released on 31 August 2023. In particular, the municipal data is sourced from the Statistical Release P9115 Unit Data, available at www.statssa.gov.za.
The data is collected by Stats SA via a questionnaire completed by municipalities. The methods used by Stats SA for collection include personal visits, telephone, fax, email and post. When assessing the employment data, it should be noted that:
- The data is self-reported by municipalities and is not audited at individual level.
- Municipalities may have reported vacancies on a differing basis, depending on different interpretations of the reporting of funded and/or unfunded positions. Some municipalities indicated no vacancies at all in the surveys.
- ‘Total Employment Positions’ (in our reporting) combines full-time, part-time and vacant positions. Significant variances in year-on-year numbers may be explained by increases or decreases in temporary or part-time positions.
- The P9115 statistical releases contain the preliminary results for the latest year indicated, and revised figures for the preceding year (if applicable). In each succeeding year the previous year's figures may be revised.
- ‘Total Employment Cost’ (in our reporting) combines ‘Employee costs’ and ‘Remuneration of councillors’ as sourced from the relevant MFMA Schedules (see Financial Information above).
Service Delivery Statistics
Service delivery statistics are sourced from the Non-financial census of municipalities, published by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). Up to 2018/19 the census was conducted annually, thereafter biennially. The 2020/21 report was released on 31 August 2023. In particular, the municipal data is sourced from the Statistical Release P9115 Unit Data, available at www.statssa.gov.za.
The data is collected by Stats SA via a questionnaire completed by municipalities. The methods used by Stats SA for collection include personal visits, telephone, fax, email and post. When assessing the service delivery data, it should be noted that:
- The data is self-reported by municipalities and is not audited at individual level.
- The data is not necessarily comparable with the Stats SA population censuses and/or household survey data, mainly due to:
- the data source being municipalities as opposed to households
- the different definitions of household
- differing reporting periods.
- ‘Households’, as reflected in this data, is defined as a domestic entity to which the service is provided and which receives one bill (if the service is billed), alternatively known as a delivery point. This concept is often referred to as a household by municipalities, but this is not strictly correct, as households and consumer units do not coincide one-to-one, particularly in blocks of flats, on stands where there are multiple households in the same dwelling or in additional dwellings, such as garden flats, backyard rooms, etc. and in the case of public taps. Most municipalities do not have a system for identifying multiple households served by one billing unit or delivery point.
- ‘Households – Free Basic Services’ means the number of Households that have access to free basic services. Where a municipality has implemented broad-based targeting or technical targeting to allocate free basic services, everyone may receive a basic level of free services, e.g. the first 6Kl of water. In this case the figures for free basic services may be equal to the total number of Households served.
- ‘Total Customer Entities Served’ includes both domestic Households and non-domestic consumer units, e.g. industrial, commercial, schools, clinics and hospitals, government departments, etc. Not all municipalities have a system to distinguish domestic Households and non-domestic consumer units.
- The P9115 statistical release contains the preliminary results for the latest year indicated, and revised figures for the preceding year (if applicable). In each succeeding year the previous year's figures may be revised.
Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)
We acknowledge and thank the Department: Government Communication and Information System for providing invaluable source material. We have made use of the South Africa Yearbook, published annually by the GCIS, in compiling the overview and provincial introductory information.
The information contained in the Featured Municipalities pages is provided by the relevant municipalities. It is not independently verified.