BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has threatened to disconnect water supplies to residents and stakeholders who are defaulting on rates and service charges.
BY SILAS NKALA
In a notice, city council advised stakeholders and residents that it would disconnect water supplies, with immediate effect, to all residential and commercial properties that were in arrears.
“Disconnections will start this weekend (August 24-25) in Wards 20, 22, 23 and 24 (Nkulumane) and ward 3 in the eastern areas. Residents are, therefore, encouraged to bring their accounts up to date in order to avoid this inconvenience,” the notice read.
“Payments may be made at all district offices and at the Revenue Hall or through the mobile platforms or bank transfers. “
Council, however, said it would give ratepayers a chance to settle arrears or make payment plans before disconnecting.
“Residents are encouraged to avoid being inconvenienced by these necessary recovery measures by approaching any of council’s revenue offices and request to enter into a payment arrangement that will protect you against any of the recovery measures being taken,” reads the council notice.
“Ideally, a payment arrangement acceptable to council involves an initial payment of 10% (minimum) of the total outstanding debt, followed thereafter by making monthly payments of current bill in full plus 10% (minimum) of the outstanding debt, until the debt is paid in full. Honouring the arrangement made will have the effect of continuously protecting you against any of the recovery measures that council takes against debtors and also ensure that the account is interest free.”
Recently Bulawayo Mayor Solomon Mguni said public debt, as at May 2019, were at $189 297 693, with domestic consumers owing the largest chunk at $111 132 763, while industry owed $71 310 633, parastatals ($3 868 246) and government debt stood at $2 986 051.
“Efforts continue to be made to collect the outstanding funds through various collection strategies which include bills, notices to remind consumers of owed amounts, intensive disconnection programmes, sector web debt collection programmes and intensifying collections through legal channels,” Mguni said adding that poor revenue inflows were affecting service delivery.