Harare City Council has thanked Government for approving its $32 billion budget two months into the financial year saying this will allow the council to deliver service to residents as it now moves to collect the significantly higher rates and service charges from property owners and residents.
The local authority has been battling to provide quality services, especially adequate water supplies and proper refuse collection.
Council’s corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the early approval of the budget will help the local authority to make quick decisions on implementing the budget.
“For the first time in many years Council is operating with an approved budget two months into the new year. Council intends to collect $32 billion to fund its service delivery mandate,” he said. “Government has lived up to its word and has allowed council to implement the budget. In the past the budget would be approved well into the financial year compromising service delivery and cash flows,” he said.
“However, for the situation to work the budget must be funded by all residents and not by a few ratepayers. They cannot carry the whole city hence services will suffer as ratepayers are the ones who fund service delivery.
“At the moment there is a mismatch between service delivery expectations and the amounts being paid by service users. Council urges residents to pay their bills so that service delivery does not suffer.”
Mr Chideme urged residents to use electronic platforms when making their payments in to minimise the spread of Covid-19.
He said in the coming weeks all property owners and tenants will be receiving electronic bills.
“So far 34 500 property owners are accessing e-bills through emails. Another 160 000 have registered to receiving their bills via short message services. Council is inviting residents to submit their e-details to allow for speedy receipt of bills as the city goes digital,” Mr Chideme said.