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HomeNewsHarare presents 2015 Budget Proposal – residents to retain 10% of revenue

Harare presents 2015 Budget Proposal – residents to retain 10% of revenue

By Farai Dauramanzi

City of Harare (CoH) on Thursday 30 October 2014 presented its 2015 budget proposal which will see residents retaining 10% of all collected revenue and no changes in tariffs.

According to the budget that was presented to council by the City’s Finance and Development Committee chairperson Councillor Tranos Moyo (Ward 15) the City expects to raise a total of $272.7 million against projected expenditure of $272.4 million which will leave council with a surplus of $0.3 million.

The major earnings for council are expected to come from property taxes which are expected to contribute $105.3 million and Harare Water which is also expected to rake in $102million.

Other revenue sources are expected to rake in various amounts as follows: refuse collection $23.8 million, welfare $0.8 million, ZINARA and billboards $4 million, city architect $6.7 million, clamping and towing $5.8 million, health fees $6.6 million, housing, rentals, leases and markets $9 million, public safety $0.8 million, education $0.7 million, estates $3.2 million and lastly parks and cemeteries $0.8 million. Other sources not noted will contribute $3.5 million in 2015.

However, there will be no tariff increases for Harare residents for the fifth year running. Rates for all council services such as water, hospital fees and property taxes remain unchanged with the exception of hostel rentals which have been reduced from $23 to $10. The City has also proposed to scrap fixed water charges in residential areas that do not receive council water.

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One of the highlights of the budget presentation was the announcement of the 10% retention for wards or districts to enable some developmental projects to be undertaken at local level.

IMG-20141031-WA0003“The retention of 10% of the collections for wards or districts is a landmark development that marks the first step towards the introduction of the City’s envisioned participatory budgeting philosophy. The model is noble and laudable in every respect,” said Moyo to the jubilation of other councillors and the Mayor.

“However, it must be noted from the on-set that the model is a variant of ‘we eat what we kill’ motto. Wards that collect more for their bills will have more funds to spend on their developmental projects than those who pay less,” added Moyo.

In his presentation to council, Councillor Moyo said that the City expects to increase water supply to 650 mega litres from the current supply of 450 mega litres per day through the on-going rehabilitation of Morton Jaffray and Prince Edward water works as well as on Firle and Crowborough sewage treatment plants. Waste water treatment is also expected to go up from 72 mega litres per day to 219 mega litres.

“The City further targets to substantially reduce non-revenue water by revamping both the water and sewer pipe network under ZIMFUND phase two. Zonal and pressure reducing valves will also be installed in order to enhance water management strategies,” said Moyo.

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Moyo said that the budget also provides for the acquisition of roads maintenance equipment and $31 million has been set aside for the purpose of buying road equipment such as graders, pneumatic rollers, water bowsers, steel rollers, tippers, chip spreaders and de-blocking machines among other equipment.

“53km of failed roads will be reconstructed and rehabilitated, eight kilometres of roads in the CBD and trunk routes will receive asphalt overlay, 120km will be re-sealed with spray and chip, 227km will receive re-gravelling and compaction of road verges, 16km of underground storm water pipes will be unblocked, 4000 broken road signs will be replaced and six footbridges will be constructed,” added Moyo in his budget presentation.

After the Finance Committee chairperson’s presentation the budget proposal was adopted by the full council and now awaits government approval.

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