BY CATHERINE MUCHIRI
GOVERNMENT has approved Harare City Council’s $41 billion budget for 2022 that will see increases in rates and tariffs, council spokesperson Michael Chideme confirmed yesterday.
Chideme said the budget was hinged on improving water provision and service delivery and would be supported by devolution funds.
“We are improving all areas of service delivery which include garbage collection and clearance of dumps, water delivery, public lighting, roads, health and all municipal services,” Chideme said.
“The 2022 budget is largely cost recovery, meaning that it has been crafted to absorb costs to provide services. It will allow for cross subsidisation in areas where the charge is below cost; for example, in the health sector where tariffs have not been increased.
“This will help us to achieve our objectives of delivering ‘an upper-middle income economy’. These measures are all aimed at stabilising the council’s micro environment and enhancing operational efficiency.”
Chideme said residents should expect increases in property taxes, refuse charges, housing charges and burial charges among others.
“Residents, who use below 5 cubic metres, equivalent to 25 of 200 litre drums will pay 12% less this year in high density suburbs and 11% less in low-density suburbs compared to last year. Charges for clinics and hospitals have not been increased in order to promote access to health by all,” he said.Chideme also said only fines and penalties have been increased by 300-400% to promote compliance and stop illegal activities in the city.