BCC proposes $2bn supplementary budget, $17.1bn 2021 budget

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has proposed a ZWL$2.85 billion supplementary budget for the remainder of the year which has been necessitated by the economic upheavals being experienced in the country.

The local authority also proposed a ZWL$17.1 billion 2021 budget which will likely see residents forking out more for council services.

Speaking during a virtual media budget consultation meeting, Friday, BCC Finance Director Kimpton Ndimande said the 2020 budget was eroded by exchange rate movement, inflation, price hikes, interest rates and labour costs, leaving the city to propose a supplementary budget.

The supplementary budget is expected to be effective on 1 November.

“Our supplementary budget has been necessitated by the unfriendly exchange rate movement and the inflation that is now sitting at 837 percent. We are then forced to do a supplementary budget so that the city can continue offering services,” said Ndimande.

“When we started budgeting petrol was sitting at $11.76 but now it is sitting at $103, diesel $12.42 but it is at $90, water chemicals were $11.03 but now at $83. These are the movements that necessitated this supplementary budget.”

In the proposed revenue budget, property tax was pegged at ZWL$269 334 569, rentals were pegged at ZWL$44 898 327, solid waste management is pegged at ZWL$84 555 500, water at ZWL$184 843 365, sewerage at ZWL$94 950 415 and other heads at ZWL$55 807 595.

On the proposed ZWL$17.1 billion 2021 budget, Ndimande said the capital budget expenditure is pegged at ZWL$10 billion while the revenue budget is pegged at ZWL$7.1 billion.

Residents and other stakeholders will have an opportunity to input into the proposed budget before it is submitted to the Local Government Ministry for approval.

Due to restrictions on public gatherings, the local authority will use online platforms to collect residents` views.

Presenting the proposed budget, Ndimande said the local authority will endeavour to recover costs especially in rentals, grave costs, water charges, pipeline levy, non-domestic sewer and administration costs.

He said they expect that the expenditure that has been going towards the Covid-19 pandemic will ease off and be rechannelled to other sectors.

The 2021 priorities services will be water, health, sewerage, housing, roads, education, public lighting, social services and fire and ambulance services.

He added that part of efforts to provide water to residents, the local authority will continue with the rehabilitation of pumping equipment.

“We have an ongoing exercise of cleaning reservoirs and replacing pumps, we want to continue doing that so that our water quality is kept at a good rate,” he said.

“Domestic water metre replacement will continue so that we can charge you accurately for the water that you consume as consumers and water mains upgrading is going on, we want to rehabilitate water treatment plant at criterion that is also on going, and we want to speed up and increase planned maintenance at council facilities,” he said.

Some of the targeted projects include the construction of a clinic, library and school in Cowdray Park, renovations of council properties, construction of new sewer outfalls in Cowdray Park, construction of individual household toilets in Iminyela and Mabutweni.

The local authority also intends to rehabilitate its dilapidated road network, rehabilitation of community halls; and refurbish flats, housing offices and hostels (Jabulani,Tregene, Vundu and Luveve).

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