BY DARLINGTON MWASHITA/SILAS NKALA
GOVERNMENT has approved Bulawayo City Council’s $2 779 412 294 budget, which will see rates increasing by about 416%, four months after a 300% hike.
The 2020 proposal consisted of a revenue budget of $1,351 billion and capital budget of $1,428 billion.
According to council, all tariffs were to be increased by 300% in October 2019 in order to finance the proposed second supplementary budget and an additional 416% would be levied on all tariffs in the current budget.
Town clerk Christopher Dube (pictured) in a statement yesterday called on residents to review payment arrangements.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advise members of the public and customers that the 2020 municipal budget has been approved together with an increase in tariff charges (approved January 31 2020). The new approved charges are effective from February 1, 2020,” the statement read.
Dube said customers with payment arrangements were encouraged to visit their nearest revenue offices to incorporate new changes and continue enjoying benefits that go with such arrangements.
Council gave ratepayers up to March 31 to adjust the payment arrangements.
Meanwhile, BCC will today begin replacing old domestic water meters and ageing sewage and water pipes to curb bursts.
Dube said the local authority through contractor, Unik Construction Engineering (Pty) Limited, would target all the high-density suburbs which were still using old water meters.
“The City of Bulawayo is currently implementing the Bulawayo Water and Sewerage Services Improvement Project (BWSSIP) whose objective is to improve municipal water supply and sanitation services contributing to the improvement of the health and social well-being of the population of the City of Bulawayo,” Dube said.
“One of the key components of the project is the water mains upgrading, mains renewal and bulk and domestic meter replacement project that is being conducted in various parts of the city. To this end, council would like to advise residents that the contractor Unik Construction Engineering (Pty) Ltd will be conducting domestic meter replacement in various parts of the city from February 13 to the end of June 2020.”
Dube said suburbs targeted in the programme were Pumula North and South, Kelvin North, West and East, Thorngrove, Sizinda, Magwegwe Old/BS, New Magwegwe, Magwegwe West and North, Cowdray Park, Entumbane, Emakhandeni, Lobengula West, New Lobengula, Lobengula Extension, Nkulumane, Nketa, Emganwini, Bellevue, West Somerton, Matshobana, Mabutweni, Pumula East, Pumula, Old Luveve, Enqameni and Enqotsheni.
He said Unik Construction Engineering (Pty) Ltd employees conducting the exercise would have staff identification cards.
Implementation of the BWSSIP programme comes at a time ratepayers have raised concern over incessant water and sewage pipe bursts attributed mainly to ageing infrastructure.