Blow for high density residents

…as council plans to hike water charges

Observer Reporter

In what could be a blow to the already struggling high density masses, Kwekwe City Council  is planning to hike its water and sewer charges for the densely populated suburbs to match those of the leafy areas.

The revelations came out in a series of budget consultative meetings held across the city recently whereby council is proposing to hike water charges for high density suburbs to match the charges of those in the low density areas.

Residents in high density areas will fork out $0, 80 per cubic metre in 2019 up from $0, 42 for the same in 2018 whilst there is no increase of charges for those in the low density areas.

Fixed water charges have remained at $4.

In the new tariff the council, is proposing to increase refuse collection charges from current $2 to $3 for those in the high density suburbs, while those from the low density  will be expected to part with $5.

Tariffs for sewer are projected to increase from $2 to $5 for both high and low density areas.

Public lighting is projected to remain unchanged at $0, 90 for high density areas and $1 for low density areas.

Meanwhile, tariffs for industry and commercial areas are also set to be increased.

Commercial areas are proposed to fork out $20 for sewer charges up from $5, whilst they will have to pay $45 for refuse collection up from $10.

Meanwhile the city’s mayor has said residents are not honouring their financial obligations with the local authority as only 30% are paying rates to the local authority.

Kasipo told residents during a budget consultative meeting that the balance sheet of the council was in an unhealthy state.

“We are struggling to collect revenue as a city considering that only 30% are paying their rates.

“Of the 30% only a tiny fraction is fully paid up. Considering that 70% are not paying we are burdened as a council, we want to deliver the best of services but we can only do that if we honour our obligations,” she said.

Kwekwe Residents and Rate Payers Association (KRRA) Alex Homela has encouraged residents to pay rates.

“For us as residents to get a service we must pay our rates. I therefore encourage each and every one of us to pay. Also we must attend budget consultation meetings so that our contributions can also be factored in,” he said.

Kwekwe last year maintained a standstill budget of $26, 2 million for this year against a backdrop of a shrinking revenue base, low disposable income and a severe liquidity crunch fuelled by low capacity utilization.

Midlands’s second provincial capital has been battling to recover a near $40 million debt from residents and companies.

Government has since assumed the debt of council’s biggest debtor Zisco Steel which is valued at $15, 8 million.

Mayor Kasipo said council is yet to come up with a projected figure for this year’s budget as they are still consulting.

“Considering the fluid economic environment which we are operating in we are yet to come up with a projected figure for this year’s budget as we are still consulting,” she said.

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