Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The Covid19 pandemic has adversely affected Beitbridge Municipality’s capacity to collect more revenue from ratepayers and businesses as they are also finding the going tough under the new economic climate.
The state of affairs has seen the local authority failing to implement major capital projects that are part of its transformation drive from a town into a modern city. In an interview, the town clerk, Mr Loud Ramakgapola said so far, the council was only collecting less than 20 percent of its targeted monthly revenue.
This year the Municipality adopted an $935 million annual budget and $78 million expected to have been collected in January alone.
However, as of January 31, they had only managed to collect $13, 3 million.
According to Mr Ramakgapola, the situation has seen them failing to construct a new landfill as planned this year.
“We are collecting less than we had planned for and this is seriously affecting our capacity to implement major capital projects to modernise our town,” he said.
“You will not that our town has been gradually developing and hence we need to match that with other critical services. So, we are working on a number of initiatives to improve our capacity to deal with issues of solid waste management”.
Mr Ramakgapola said they had planned to use $583, $200 on the construction of a modern landfill, which will be located after Makhakavhule Cemetery.
It is understood that the current landfill, located west of Dulivhadzimu Long Distance bus terminus and was built in the 1970s, is now obsolete.
In addition, it does not match the demand and the town’s transformation status.
“We have identified a site and would want more resources to start on the excavations and the major civil works.
“Our hope is that when our revenue base gradually improves, we may fully implement this project,” said Mr Ramakgapola.
The official said they were collecting around 700 tonnes of solid waste monthly although they believed that the 80 000 population was producing an excess of over 1000 tonnes of solid waste.
He said the town’s population was growing rapidly and hence the need to be ahead in terms of setting proper service delivery standards.
Beitbridge is the face of Zimbabwe to those coming in through South Africa and those in transit (13 000 daily) from other countries in the region (SADC) and the town generates a lot of litter due to its high economic activity and location as a transit point. @tupeyo