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372% rates hike for Bulawayo residents

by Staff reporter
08 Jan 2021 at 07:27hrs | Views
BULAWAYO residents will fork out more for services after Government approved Bulawayo City Council (BCC's) over $16 billion 2021 budget.

Rates have already increased by 372 percent with effect from Friday last week following Government's December approval of the city's $551 million supplementary budget.

Council applied for a supplementary budget in October saying the Covid-19 pandemic had affected budgeting, as the local authority incurred unbudgeted expenses. Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo over the weekend announced that his ministry has approved 52 of the 90 local authority 2021 budgets.

BCC senior public relations officer Mrs Nesisa Mpofu yesterday confirmed the approval of the city's 2021 budget, a month after the approval of another hike in the 2020 supplementary budget.

"The Minister of Local Government advised the City of Bulawayo on the 5th of January 2021 that the 2021 budget had been approved. In December the 2020, the city of Bulawayo supplementary budget was approved and the new charges of 372 percent increase in tariffs will be reflected in the January 2021 bill," said Mrs Mpofu.

She said council is waiting for the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works to provide a detailed account of the city's approved 2021 budget.

"We are waiting for the full document from the ministry which will indicate the percentage increase. It will also show the tariff schedule for 2021 but for January 2021, it is definitely 372 percent increase. But going forward the tariff schedule will indicate for example the rates that were charged in 2020 for a particular suburb and that in 2021 they are so much," she said.

Mrs Mpofu said the approved budget is for the water and solid waste management while shop licencing and burial space tariffs will be gazetted through Parliament before they are imposed.

A resident in western suburbs who was paying rates averaging $200 before Government approved the $551 million supplementary budget will this month part with $700 and an additional $200 per month when the 2021 budget rates are imposed.

Residents in eastern suburbs will be paying between $2 000 and $3 000 as they were charged between $400 and $1 000 before the new schedules were approved.

Increases in the 2021 council budget will be known once the Local Government Ministry indicates the percentage increases after its decision to approve this year's budget.

The council has urged residents to pay bills so that it can also deliver on services.

In a statement on the local authorities budget approvals, Minister Moyo expressed concerns that some local authorities risked losing $19,5 billion devolution funds as they did not budget for it in their 2021 budgets.

Source - chroncile

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