BY VANESSA GONYE
SERIOUS water challenges have dogged Beitbridge Border Post over the past three months following the introduction of a prepaid water meter system by the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa).
Town clerk Loud Ramakgapola said the municipality was not ready for the prepaid meter system.
“On December 24 last year, Zinwa wrote to the town council indicating that it would be introducing the prepaid water system from January 1 and that council should pre-buy water for resell to residents. We were not ready for that as we were used to the old system,” Ramakgapola said.
“We didn’t have much time and we used the little we had to pre-buy the water, but it was not enough.”
Ramakgapola said the municipality owed Zinwa an estimated US$205 million for water supplies.
Zinwa sells bulk water to the municipality which then resells it to more than 70 000 residents of the border town.
“We already owed Zinwa so 40% of what we were paying was covering the debt and about 14% was paying value-added tax, leaving the remainder for the water. It has not been enough. We have appealed and recently met with the Local Government ministry for a way forward,” he said.
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