THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) recorded a rare budget surplus of $23 million from January to December last year, but noted reduced expenditure over the year mainly due to cash flow constrains.
BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
According to a financial statement review prepared by financial director, Kimpton Ndimande, income for the period was $106 million against expenditure of $82 million. The budget for the year was $107 million.
“Accrued income to December 2015 surpassed the figure for accrued expenditure resulting in an accrued surplus of $23 168 938. Expenditure has remained subdued because of the cash flow constraints. There was a decrease of 3,75% in the rate of collections in December 2015 when compared with the collections for the same month in year 2014,” he said.
Ndimande said low levels of cash inflows continued affecting budgeted expenditure resulting in a favourable variance of $25 million.
Of this expenditure, Ndimande said salaries and allowances, amounted to $59 million followed by general expenses, which were $30 million and $6 million was spent on repairs and maintenance.
He said payments made in December 2015 decreased by 11,12% in comparison with the same period the previous year, that is from $8 million in December 2014 to $7 million a year later.
Last year, BCC tabled a $158 million budget anchored on domestic financing, but Ndimande said unpaid rates continued to be an albatross around council’s neck.
Domestic debtors topped the list at $68 million followed by industrial and commercial debtors at $48 million, while government departments owe the council more than $4 million.
BCC lost $47 million in 2013 after government directed all municipalities to cancel domestic water bills and property taxes incurred between February 2009 and June 2013, citing a difficult economic environment that made it challenging for households to pay.
In October 2015, BCC proposed a flat 2016 budget of $154 million with no tariff increases.