BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
BULAWAYO residents associations have called on council to waive tariffs or offer discounts to vulnerable and child-headed families failing to settle their dues due to the harsh economic climate.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) increased its rates by 372% with effect from January following government’s approval of the city’s $551 million supplementary budget.
In an interview, Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) chairperson Winos Dube urged council to unveil special tariffs for the vulnerable in society.
“There is a serious outcry from residents over council’s high rates.
“Most affected areas that are feeling the severest heat are suburbs mostly occupied by elderly and child-headed families in Pelandaba, Njube, Makokoba, Old Pumula to mention a few high-density suburbs” Dube said.
“We appeal to authorities to consider coming up with a certain relief which can come about after extensive consultation with all stakeholders.
’There should be a special way of treating the elderly and the child-headed families. They can give a significant discount to these affected families.
“They can also give employment to the child-headed families so that they can be able to pay the rates.”
Deputy mayor Mlandu Ncube (pictured) said it was in the spirit of the council to help vulnerable families.
“It is in the spirit of the council to help vulnerable families; we do have a rate rebate for vulnerable groups in
“We have our community-based groups that do jobs like cutting grass, street cleaning, picking up papers and others.
“That was the initial plan to these works to ensure that vulnerable families can have something to do.”
Last year, Bulawayo residents rejected the council’s 2021 budget proposal, arguing that the budget formulation process was flawed.