The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has revised down its proposed budget for 2021 to ZWL$16 billion, which will see tariffs increasing by 421 percent, after consultations with residents.
Earlier the local authority had proposed a ZWL$71.1 billion before tabling it to residents and other stakeholders.
Ward 1 Councillor Mlandu Ncube, chairperson of the Finance and Development Committee presented the budget in the council chambers on Friday.
The total budget, pegged at ZWL$ 16,030,483,310 comprises of a revenue budget of ZWL$5,332 billion and a capital budget of ZWL$10, 698 billion.
The local authority expects to finance the budget through the rates and general services account with a targeted revenue of ZWL$2.7 billion, water is expected to bring in ZWL$1.36 billion and the sewerage account will rake in ZWL$672 million.
Cllr Ncube said the revenue expenditure for administration was pegged at ZWL$1.6 billion and will be financed from property taxes.
“This expenditure is essentially administration of various head offices, staff costs and maintenance of buildings in the city. the administration votes carry the bulk of the administration expenditure of the city. Council is expected to accrue $2 billion dollars of which surplus will be used to finance other services within the rates and general services account,” he said.
Cllr Ncube also proposed that tariffs be hiked by 421% in 2021.
“Your worship, council is mandated to deliver quality services to the residents. quality service comes at a cost, our tariffs are now sub economic. The cost of providing the services has shot up yet our tariffs still remain at the approved level in 2020. The plight of residents cannot be ignored and hence there is need to balance the level of service delivery and tariff affordability.
Your worship, before I recommend the tariff adjustments, I propose that going forward, this budget be reviewed quarterly to determine the relevance of the tariffs to finance the budget. the proposal is meant to ensure that economic tariffs are charged so that services continue to be enjoyed by the residents,” said Cllr Ncube.
“It is therefore recommended that; tariffs be increased by 372% from November 2020 in order to finance the proposed 2020 supplementary budget; for the 2021 budget an increase of 421% be levied on all tariffs based on the approved 2020 tariffs. This increase will be effected on the 1st January 2021.”
Cllr Ncube added that the capital budget will be used to fund mainly infrastructure development.