Successful urban development can only take place if a city has a stable and sustainable financial base, with a reliable revenue stream and well-thought-out expenditure strategies. It is well known that many municipalities in South Africa are struggling to manage their finances effectively, and research needs to be done to establish ways in which they can be assisted.
The South African Cities Network partners with the Institute for Municipal Financial Officers in carrying out municipal finance research. The state and health of finances of South African Cities Network members, including financial indicators, are examined in the bi-annual State of City Finance (SoCF) reports.
The research addresses a number of factors:
How municipalities generate income, collect revenue and budget for expenditure.
How municipal finances are affected by external policy decisions and global economic environments.
How municipalities achieve an effective balance between capital infrastructure investment and efficient operations and management, in order to successfully overcome the financial challenges facing them.