The Financing of City Services in Southern Africa

A follow-up of a previous report published by the SACN in 2008, this publication examines the challenge of financing infrastructure in the Southern African region. Infrastructure investment in Southern Africa and the rest of the continent is of particular significance, as it is increasingly recognised as pivotal to the goals of economic growth and tackling poverty. The geographical spread of the project included ten city municipalities across the countries of Botswana, Mozambique, Mauritius, Tanzania, Namibia, Zambia and Malawi. The research involved city visits, where interviews with key individuals were conducted, and an in-depth analysis of their financial statements, as well as plans and policies relating to infrastructure and services.


This project had a number of key activities. One was to understand the financial health of these municipalities, which was linked to providing credit assessments for all the municipalities visited, allowing them to rate their ability to borrow in order to meet some of their infrastructure needs. This publication, with its detailed financial profiles and analysis of major issues relating to city finances, is a primary product of this aspect of the project. Another aspect of this project was to conduct financial capacity building in a selected number of these municipalities, providing senior managers with focused training on enhancing city creditworthiness. The project culminated in a knowledge dissemination event in Johannesburg South Africa on 25 May 2011, at which the publication was launched, broad findings of the project were discussed and city officials were invited to share financial management lessons learnt within their organisations.