BCC to install pre-paid water meters

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has passed a resolution that will see the local authority installing pre-paid water meters as a way of generating revenue despite rejection by the residents.
Presenting the supplementary budget in the Council Chambers on Tuesday, where tariffs and rates were increased by 42%, the chairperson of the Finance and Development Committee Councillor Silas Chigora said the council had to come up with new revenue streams in order for it to fully function.
Last month Bulawayo residents rejected the proposed supplementary budget during consultative meetings but the local authority insisted on implementing arguing that the approved 2019 budget had been overtaken by events.
“During the supplementary budget consultations, residents mentioned that our city needs to have new revenue streams.
“We, therefore, have introduced prepaid water meters. These meters will be installed to volunteers, all companies and commercial industries. New properties will also be encouraged to install prepaid water meters,” said Cllr Chigora.
Cllr Chigora said other measures of enhancing the council coffers included vehicle parking fees and the introduction of truck-ins amongst other things.
He highlighted due to economic meltdown; the supplementary budget would not be sufficient in maintaining service delivery hence a need for new revenue streams.
“Council is proposing a 42% adjustment of all tariffs in order to finance the Supplementary Revenue Budget. The proposed adjustment is way below the inflation rate of March 2019.
“Council intended to increase the tariffs by 56% but took into cognisance the pleas of the residents and settled for 42%. The proposed increase will not be sufficient to maintain the intended level of service delivery but might see Council scale down on certain services,” said Cllr Chigora.
He said the instability of the RTGS dollar against the dominant United States Dollar might force the Council to charge housing stands in stable currencies in order to ensure the housing vision is achieved by delivering serviced stands.
“Council will also vigorously embark on debt recovery measures in order to reduce debtors. Council intends to review its operations, purge any leakages, and also embrace new technology to reduce operational costs.”

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