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Ingwebu seeks bill payment holiday

by Staff reporter
24 Jun 2024 at 10:56hrs | Views
Ingwebu Breweries, owned by Bulawayo City Council, has requested an exemption from paying its water bill, which has accumulated to over US$400,000. This request was detailed in the latest council minutes, where it was disclosed that Ingwebu Breweries sought a payment holiday from April to December 2024 for its main brewery water account.

As of April 2024, the outstanding balance on the account stood at US$423,227.88, with average monthly water bills amounting to US$36,853. The brewery, which had an approved daily water allocation of 645 kilolitres (19,350 kilolitres per month), had previously faced penalties due to water rationing. In response to their application for increased water allocation, the daily limit was raised in November 2023, mitigating these penalties.

The council expressed concerns that granting this exemption would set an undesirable precedent and could lead to financial losses, given their tight water rationing regime. They emphasized the principle of cost recovery for services like water and noted public expectations for non-domestic consumers to contribute to water infrastructure rehabilitation.

In their resolution, the council decided not to grant Ingwebu Breweries' request for a payment holiday, citing potential financial deficits and the need to uphold responsible financial practices. Instead, they recommended that the brewery enter into a payment arrangement to settle the outstanding debt. Additionally, the council proposed relief through the reversal of penalties charged from July to October 2023 and the suspension of interest on overdue debts, amounting to US$38,317.71.

The council's decision aimed to maintain financial integrity and ensure equitable treatment of all consumers, while addressing concerns about water management and fiscal responsibility.

Source - newsday