The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has almost completed valuation of all its properties and the report was readily available for inspection by residents, mayor Thaba Moyo told NewsDay yesterday.
“I think we have made some progress there because the thing (properties issue) has taken long. I am not sure what will come after the public viewing, but you can talk to the acting chamber secretary and acting town clerk,” he said.
Acting town clerk Spekiwe Guta recently told participants at a pre-budget consultation meeting the programme had been delayed by lack of funds to pay the private property valuers engaged to carry out the exercise.
“We have been hit by shortage of manpower and transport for this exercise. The list is, however, available for public viewing until mid-September,” she said.
Last month, Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (Bpra) coordinator Rodrick Fayayo called on the local authority to publish a list of all its properties to ensure accountability.
Fayayo told residents this would enable them “to know the council’s revenue base and thus enable them to ascertain whether or not the council has enough funds for service provision”.
“It was the residents’ feeling that the BCC was not receiving all its revenue because people using its premises are not paying up as expected.
“Residents asserted that the council was failing to collect its debts from its business partners and was now coming hard on residents by disconnecting water supplies for those with debts and charging rates that most residents cannot afford,” Fayoyo said.
Council finance director Kempton Ndimande said most people procured their business premises from the municipality under 99-year leases, and “as a result they pay very low rentals that do not contribute much to the city coffers”.