South African municipalities spent nearly R250 million on consultants to help them prepare financial statements last year, the Sunday Independent reported.
In 90 percent of the municipalities, there were no vacancies in the finance department, but consultants were hired anyway, the Auditor General noted in a recent report.
KwaZulu-Natal spent R79.8m on consultants, with an average of R1.9m per municipality.
In the Free State, 24 of the 27 municipalities spent R32m on consultants, a six percent increase on the previous year.
Limpopo's 22 municipalities spent R23m on consultants.
Municipalities relied heavily on consultants who did not have the skills required to assist them, the newspaper reported.
In other instances, consultants were hired at the last minute and supplied with incorrect data.