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Council requires additional $2.2M to fund operations

The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says it requires an additional $2.2 million per month to fund its operations due to the fuel price hikes announced in January.

In January, President Emmerson Mnangagwa hiked fuel prices by 150% with a litre of petrol which was going for $1.24 now being sold for $3.31.

Diesel increased to $3.11 per litre from $1.36.

The local authority needs at least 80 000 litres of diesel and 50 000 litres of petrol per month.

Addressing stakeholders during the municipality’s financial performance review meeting, Wednesday, the city`s finance director Kimpton Ndimande said the fuel prices increase affected their operations as they had not been budgeted for.

“Council runs on fuel, refuse collections, road maintenance, ambulances require fuel.  Everything we do requires fuel,” said Ndimande.

He highlighted that they are expecting a massive increase in fuel expenditure, which they had not budgeted.

“We are expecting an increase of $2.2 million per month and we had not budgeted for this,” he said.

Ndimande added: “In every $100 you get less than 30 litres of fuel and council requires 80 000 litres of diesel and 50 000 litres of petrol per month. When we budgeted it was not at this level”.

He said recently they have not been able to render some services due to fuel shortages.

“We have been trying to collect refuse as much as possible but for the past three to four weeks we have a problem of doing so because of a shortage of diesel. It is also now difficult to provide the fire and ambulance services because of the fuel issue,” said Ndimande.

Ndimande implored residents to settle their bills to enable the local authority to provide quality services.

“We are failing to give you the level of service that we should because we are not getting enough feed from the residents. In November the debtors were standing at $178million and creditors were at $180 million. Already if you all pay us today, we can’t be able to pay all our creditors,” said Ndimande.

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