HomeLocal NewsCouncil unveils $288m budget

Council unveils $288m budget

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HARARE City Council yesterday unveiled a “standstill” $288 million budget for next year, which features no increases in rates.

Report by Moses Matenga

According to the budget, there will be no rises in water charges, maternity fees, refuse collection and other critical services.
Council hopes to depend for revenue on current rates and recovery of debts owed by residents, government and the corporate world – totally a staggering $250 million.

Presenting the budget last night, Finance and Development Committee chairperson Friday Muleya said the city would not increase tariffs for the third year running.

“. . . it is council’s intention to raise the projected amount of $289 million required to finance the envisage 2013 annual expenditure without increasing tariffs, charges and fees for the third year running,” Muleya said in his presentation.

Muleya said the city would raise the required money from various sources including properties not on the city’s valuation roll, refuse collection ($23 million), Zinara and billboards ($5 million), clamping and towing ($5,5 million), health fees ($10 million), water ($117 million), parks and cemeteries ($800 000), among other sources.

There were no changes in cremation and burial charges which remained at $200 (cremation) and burial (areas A: $100, A+: $175 and B: $75).

Speaking on the city’s perennial potable water problem, Muleya said: “The need to plug water leakages in the water distribution system cannot be over-emphasised. A huge number of residents are consuming water freely and the rate at which water debtors are growing requires the city remains committed to the installation of prepaid meters.”

The city defied calls by government to scrap maternity user fees and maintained a $25 fee.

Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda said council needed the co-operation of government and residents to successfully implement its budget.
“What we need to do is to double our efforts to collect revenue. There is no company, Zimplats and other big companies included, that can survive if they are owed $250 million,” he said.

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