Ivan Zhakata Herald Correspondent
Government is ready to help local authorities in debt collection with a view to improve service delivery, Provincial Development Cordinator (PDC) for Harare Mr Tafadzwa Muguti has said.
Speaking during a recent tour of Harare Quarry Private Limited, Shawasha Complex and the Coca-Cola Market, Mr Muguti said Government was worried with local authorities’ failure to collect revenue.
“Government has noted with concern, through various investigations instituted into the operations of local authorities by the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works, that their capacity for revenue collection is highly diminished,” he said.
“This does not bode well for optimum service delivery and it has resulted in poor refuse collection, poor road infrastructure and general malaise.”
Mr Muguti said incompetence by local authorities made it critical for the Government to step in to capacitate them and enhance their collection capacity.
“This necessarily includes, among other things, enabling councils to collect revenue from markets designated for informal traders,” he said.
“Government’s economic blueprint for the next five years can only be implemented properly through adherence to the laws and bylaws that have been enacted to govern the conduct of business both in the formal and informal sector.”
Mr Muguti said councils Strategic Business Units (SBUs) must also perform to ensure revenue collection which will in turn be channelled towards service delivery.
He said council infrastructure must be used in a manner that benefits council, ratepayers, traders and other stakeholders. Mr Muguti encouraged councils to cut the bureaucratic red tape to accelerate issuance of licences and permits.
“Our thrust going forward must be optimum revenue collection and judicious use of the revenue collected,” he said. “This thrust also requires that we cut the red tape within our local authorities.
“Local authorities must expedite the provision of permits and approvals for traders in the informal sector and for other businesspeople in general in order to stimulate growth.”
Mr Muguti blamed unreasonable delays in issuing licences, saying they were forcing people to operate outside the law.