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BCC embarks on water disconnection blitz

by Staff reporter
13 Feb 2023 at 05:18hrs | Views
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) is carrying out a water disconnection blitz in all suburbs over unpaid rates amounting to $30 billion.

The local authority says it is struggling to meet its financial obligations as a result of declining revenue inflows as most ratepayers are not paying their bills.

Council Corporate Communications Officer, Ms Bongiwe Ngwenya said the council is owed over $30 billion in unpaid rates and service charges.

"The City of Bulawayo is owed over $30 billion in unpaid rates and service charges. The high debtors' figure is choking service delivery in the city. In order to recover the outstanding amount that is owed by residents, we have put in place measures for a service restriction blitz. The blitz will affect all those owing to the council, this is not being conducted blindly but residents are being notified through SMS messages and 24-hour notices," said Ms Ngwenya.

She said the blitz will be carried out in phases in all suburbs in the city.

In some instances, water will be disconnected during weekends.

Ms Ngwenya said the blitz targets accounts whose payments are overdue by 30 days.

 "The blitz will continue until such a time that the whole city has been covered, residents are encouraged to bring their accounts up to date to avoid the inconvenience of service restriction. The recovery action is designed to ensure that the city has enough financial resources to tackle service delivery issues that are negatively affecting the residents. These include improving the response time to attend to sewer blockages, attending to water bursts and timely collection of garbage," she said.

Last month, the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce and the Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries accused BCC of using a wrong formula to convert the 2022 and this year's tariffs from the local currency to United States dollars resulting in exorbitant tariffs.

The business community is not happy that despite engagements last year, the local authority went on to come up with the USD-indexed 2023 budget when the matter is still being contested.

Last November, some residents stormed City Hall in protest against what they termed unreasonably high rates that were not supported by any meaningful service delivery.

Source - The Chronicle
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