…400 percent tariff increase
…devolution funds channelled towards Mucheke Trunk Sewer project
MASVINGO— Though residents, during the 2020 budget consultation meetings, rejected any form of tariff increments until the council improved on their service delivery mandate, the city fathers have gone ahead and approved the 400 percent rate increments in the proposed 2020 city budget.
The city fathers have approved a $220 969 164 budget for 2020 from which 54 percent will be raised from internal funds, 43 percent from external borrowing and 3 percent from Inter- Governmental Fiscal Transfers.
The 2020 budget is based on the assumption that the macro and micro economic conditions will follow the projected forecasts.
Masvingo City Council’s finance committee chairperson and Ward 9 councillor Babylon Beta said that the council failed to implement much of the capital projects in 2019 and most of the projects have been carried over to 2020.
“Some capital projects have been deferred until such a time when funding is available. External borrowing is mainly for the water argumentation programme, landfill, water mains upgrading and Rhodene sewer upgrading.
“The Mucheke Truck Sewer will be funded from the devolution funds. The need to move with water augmentation project is now greater than ever before and the completion of the financial feasibility will enhance that move.
“The budget requirement for the Water Augmentation Phase Two that will entail the construction of a duplicate water treatment plant is now $75 million as per the recently completed financial feasibility study report,” said Beta while presenting the proposed budget.
The budget tries to address the perennial Masvingo water problems which have refused to go away due to the worn out and overwhelmed infrastructure.
The Water Augmentation Project Phase 2 has a set budget to the tune of $75 million while the Bushmead pumps have an allocation of $5 million.
Beta said the council has increased rates by 400 percent and this will see the council realising a budget surplus of about $300 000.
“Rates income is expected to increase by 400 percent emanating from the revaluation base of the ZWL$ against the USD.
“Those proposals will see the council realising a surplus of $270 026,” said Beta.
Water and service charges for domestic users have gone from $3, 60 for the first 18 cubic metres to $26 while every cubic metre above 18 has gone from $4.20 to $29.90.
For commercial users, the first 24 cubic metres has risen from $6.30 to $45, 50 while every cubic metres above 24 has been raised from $8, 10 to $52, 33.