BY SILAS NKALA
HWANGE Local Board (HLB) town secretary Ndumiso Mdlalose has urged councillors and management to work together to recover the over $100 million owed by residents.
In a latest council report, Mdlalose said there was a need for councillors to play a role in the recovery of debts.
“For us to arrest the issue of non-payment of rates, we need teamwork,” he said.
He said the councillors were expected to ensure that residents paid rates so that council could provide services.
“Councillors have a duty to develop their wards and part of the resources come from their ward development fund, which is a (5%) fraction of what is collected from rates payment,” he said.
“So the more the councillors collect from their wards, the more revenue or resources are at their disposal to be ploughed back to projects.”
HLB has been sitting on over $100 million in unpaid rates from last year and has implemented various strategies to recover the debts to no avail.
Mdlalose said ratepayers ought to be made aware of the repercussions of not pay rates, highlighting that services were provided on a user-pay-principle.
He said council was likely to be hamstrung by non-payment of rates, resulting in it failing to meet its obligations.
Non-payment of rates, Mdlaose said, was also affecting the payment of salaries resulting in a backlog.
“We will also have challenges with our current expenditure because we won’t be able to pay,” he said.
Mdlalose also said the local authority was failing to boost its capital equipment due to depleted coffers.