The Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) says it will challenge a decision by the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) to align tariff charges with the prevailing interbank exchange rate.
The local authority announced Tuesday that they will start aligning their tariff charges with the United States Dollar using the official interbank rate.
The Zimbabwe dollar is currently trading at ZWL$325 against the USD while in the parallel market it is over ZWL$450.
In an interview with CITE, BPRA secretary Thembelani Dube expressed dismay over the move and said BPRA believes that the move will worsen the situation for the residents.
“Such a move by the Bulawayo City Council will be an albatross on the necks of the poor residents of Bulawayo and as Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association we are going to be challenging such a move. The residents of Bulawayo cannot cope with such increases,” Dube said.
In a statement, Bulawayo Town Clerk Christopher Dube said the local authority was finding it difficult to provide adequate services to the city.
“The City of Bulawayo wishes to advise its valued stakeholder, residents and customers that due to prevailing economic conditions, such as changes in the exchange rate there have been substantial increases in prices of key service delivery inputs namely fuel, water and wastewater treatment chemicals, medicines, stationery and spare parts among others,” said Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube in a statement Tuesday.
“This has rendered the current Council charges inadequate thereby necessitating an urgent alignment of tariffs to input costs in order to alleviate service delivery collapse. Residents are advised that all Council charges have been translated to the USD value on the date of approval of the 2022 budget. The tariffs shall be translated at the ruling rate on the date of billing with effect from 1 June 2022.”
This comes at a time when the local authority has reintroduced water-shedding due to low water levels at its supply dams.