GWANDA Municipality has proposed to increase rates by 300% as the town council moves to improve service delivery as part of a drive to attain city status by next year.
BY RICHARD MUPONDE
The town says it is battling high prices because of the hyper-inflationary environment prevailing in the country.
The cash-trapped council has proposed to increase the rates to increase its revenue collection in order to meet the demands of running its affairs.
The local authority, out of its $10, 2 million government-approved annual budget, also aimed to buy a refuse compactor, which was initially budgeted for at RTGS $600 000, but was now pegged at RTGS$2 million.
Also among its list of to-do projects is the construction of a new dump-fill at the outskirts of the town, and close the current one which is close to residential suburbs.
Gwanda mayor Jastone Mazhale last week confirmed the council’s plan to raise rates.
“We have proposed a 300% hike in rates so that we can provide essential services to the town, which is aiming to attain city status in a year’s time.
“The increase was arrived at after considering the plight of residents, who are also facing economic difficulties. It’s not going to adequately cover our needs, but we are meeting residents halfway. Some products and services have shot-up by 2 000%,” Mazhale said.
Gwanda municipality is on a drive to improve its infrastructure and offer incentives to lure investors to the gold-mining town.
Road rehabilitation started in 2015, including installing traffic lights in the Matabeleland South provincial capital. Two years ago, the municipality went into overdrive, rehabilitating and resurfacing roads, which had been littered with potholes.
Last year, it tarred new roads linking the CBD and the suburbs of Jacaranda, Spitskop Medium and Spitskop North high-density suburbs.