Gweru in prepaid water meter test run

water meter

GWERU City Council will install prepaid water meters in some parts of the city for a test run before rolling them across the Midlands provincial capital.

In a statement on Wednesday, the council said: “We would like to inform our valued residents, clients and stakeholders that we are conducting a test run for prepaid water meters in Ivene, Southview and Southdowns. We will install 100 prepaid water meters in those areas. Once we are done with the assessment, we hope to introduce prepaid water meters.”

Gweru United Progressive Residents and Ratepayers Development Association director David Chikore welcomed the move, but with reservations.

“As a residents’ association, we have our reservations based on research in various jurisdictions locally and beyond our borders,” he said.

"We sincerely hope the initiative performs to expectation since we have for a long time suffered the burden of inflated estimated bills for a commodity that rarely flows out of our taps.”

Gweru Residents and Ratepayers Association director Cornelia Selipiwe said it was important for the local authority to consult residents on prepaid water meters.

Council has already set aside US$3 million in next year's budget for information communication technology systems, electronic services and prepaid water meters.

The local authority has on several occasions reiterated that it has plans to introduce prepaid water meters as a solution to ballooning unpaid bills due to defaulting.

The local authority is owed over $2 billion by residents in water bills.

Three years ago, council announced that it had indefinitely suspended the introduction of prepaid meters due to the high costs involved in the implementation of the project.

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