City retains stable rating outlook, maintains low debt levels

29 Aug 2022 in Where We Govern

The ratings agency Moody’s has retained the City of Cape Town’s outlook as stable, noting that its debt levels remain lower than most of its rated peers in South Africa. The City’s excellent payment ratio of 97% is a testament to most residents being able to pay their accounts. Those who are struggling are encouraged to approach us for help. The City has an extensive indigent policy and rebate system for pensioners. Financial assistance includes some R3,75 billion in rates and tariffs relief to qualifying residents this financial year.

The City has an annual payment ratio as at 30 June 2022 of 97%, indicating that most ratepayers are able to pay their municipal accounts. The City’s strong debt management practices, sturdy liquidity and robust financial performance were recently reflected in ratings agency Moody’s having retained the City’s outlook as stable (Ba3/NP).

According to the Moody’s rating report, the rating outlook reflects the City’s ‘moderate financial performance, supported by prudent financial management and a large and diversified economic base. The City has consistently reported robust operating surpluses and strong liquidity, and its debt levels will remain lower than most of its rated peers in South Africa’.

‘The City is pleased to retain its stable outlook. Good rating opinions are crucial for financial planning. The better the rating, the lower the interest charged on debt, which means it costs less to service debt and conserves public money. This indicates there is optimism amid ongoing economic pressure. In Cape Town, we are doing all we can to ensure we remain financially healthy and continue to provide services to our residents,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Councillor Siseko Mbandezi.

Those who are struggling to pay their accounts should please approach the City for assistance. More than 40% of Cape Town’s residences benefit from some level of financial rates and services relief.

‘It is important that municipal income is protected. Without it, the City will not be able to provide basic and essential services. Anyone struggling to pay is encouraged to approach the City and discuss their circumstances with us. Quite often we see situations where people are struggling to pay their municipal account but instead of approaching the City so that their particular circumstances can be looked into and a formal arrangement can be made, they reduce their payments or make ad hoc payments and then fall into arrears.

‘Residents should rather approach the City first to either access the indigent and rates rebate benefits the City is offering or to make a payment arrangement. In this way everyone is on the same page and debt management and legal actions can be avoided. Importantly, there is help on offer. The City’s policies aim to accommodate everyone according to their income level. The City reiterates its call for residents who are in financial difficulty to go to their nearest customer care office and see if they qualify for assistance. I would like to thank residents for paying their municipal accounts and for making it possible to deliver excellent services,’ said Councillor Mbandezi.


For rates or services relief

Visit: or a City customer office.


Pensioner rates relief

Pensioners 60 years or older and people who receive social grants earning not more than R17 500 may qualify for a rates rebate of between 10% and 100%. They are invited to go to the nearest City customer care office or send an email to For more information on how to apply for pensioner support:

Rental housing relief

If you are renting a community residential unit from the City, you may also apply for additional financial support if you are struggling to pay your rent and qualify for rental housing relief.

Human Settlements Directorate’s Call Centre: 021 444 0333 or WhatsApp: 063 299 9927

For payment arrangements



Businesses in financial hardship due to the economic pressure from the Covid-19 lockdown can approach the City for relief based on the merits of each application.