Gweru introduces plastic money

Gweru City Council (GCC) now allows ratepayers to use plastic money to pay their bills, as the cash shortages continue to bite.

By Stephen Chadenga

Acting town clerk, Edgar Mwedzi said the local authority has introduced point-of-sale (POS) machines, where clients can use ZimSwitch debit cards to make payments.

Since January this year, depositors have been struggling to withdraw cash from banks, with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) urging the use of plastic money to reduce the demand for cash.

Some banks have limited maximum cash withdrawals to as little as $50 per day.

“In line with the RBZ thrust for the use of plastic money, GCC has taken the initiative to introduce POS machines for your convenience,” Mwedzi said in a statement last Friday.

“The POS facility is covering all bank cardholders on ZimSwitch and is available at all council revenue halls. You can now pay for your water, rates and other services through swiping.”

Zimbabweans have, however, raised concern that the transaction charges on POS and mobile money platforms are too high.

Following low confidence in the banking system, after losing their savings in the transition to the multi-currency system in 2009, most people prefer keeping and transacting in cash.

Meawhile, most parts of the city went without water for the past three days, as the supply dams’ capacity have fallen to below 50%.

Recently, the local authority announced that it would introduce water rationing to conserve water.

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