BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE
BULAWAYO City Council has been petitioned by more than 600 elderly residents of Pelandaba suburb over rentals which they say are unaffordable.
Earlier this year BCC hiked rates by 400%, prompting an outcry from residents.
In a petition last week, Pelandaba residents said the increase was “selfish”.
“We call upon BCC to suspend the 400% rates increase introduced in the month of January. We felt that this increment did not take into consideration the devastating effects of COVID-19 which has left a number of people without salaries, let alone without employment,” the residents said.
“The increment selfishly overlooked the elderly pensioners whose monthly allowance is way below what BCC is asking for as average monthly rate payment. We plead with the council to listen to residents’ plight before any increment.”
Bulawayo United Residents Association (BURA) chairperson Winos Dube said they received the petition from the residents and sent it to the town clerk Christopher Dube.
“We received a petition from Pelandaba residents and the majority of those residents are pensioners and the elderly. They cannot pay the amount required by the council which has been worsened by the pandemic,” Dube said.
“Many people lost their jobs in this pandemic, hence they are calling on the council to revisit its rates. Truth be told, many of the residents are failing to pay these rates. These elders, who are pensioners have been complaining because their pension payouts do not match BCC rates.”
Dube said the local authority should take into consideration the financial challenges faced by residents.
“We sent the petition to the office of the town clerk and our hope is that they will intervene in this issue. So far we have received from Phelandaba, but there are many other residents from other areas who are also complaining over the same issue,” Dube said.
Efforts to get a comment from the Bulawayo town clerk were fruitless as he was not picking up calls.
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