Budget should focus on infrastructure

15 Sep, 2023 - 00:09 0 Views
Budget should focus on infrastructure Business owners complain that unlicensed vendors are operating in front of their shops.


Harare residents in Mt Pleasant, Greendale, Hatcliffe and surrounding areas have requested the City of Harare to craft a futuristic budget anchored on development.

Peter Tanyanyiwa and Diana Nherera

Suburban Reporters

The City of Harare is presently conducting consultations to help it formulate the municipality’s budget for 2024.

The residents say the council budget should be about current service delivery and not focus on yesteryear debts. They said that the salary component should not dwarf the budget.

In an interview, Mr David Panganai of Mt Pleasant said the generality of residents in Mt Pleasant, Greendale and Hatcliffe wish that the budget to focus on rehabilitating infrastructure and curtail staff costs.

Mr Panganai encouraged the new councillors to push for Harare’s share of the devolution funds and fund revival of service delivery.

“For a change may this budget not be about paying debts of yesteryear and gobbled by the salaries, allowances and other expenses at the expense of ratepayers with no tangible services recorded.

“Most of it should go to visible capital projects, like repair of infrastructure for example the rehabilitation of roads, community halls, swimming pools, repair of embankments, cutting of grass and sprucing up of the neighbourhoods.

“The incoming council leaders should fight for devolution funds.  Those funds are needed in real time to augment council budgeting,” he said.

The budget should also allow for employee appraisals, training and reorientation because most of the council workers just get paid at the end of every month for doing nothing, residents said.

Because of deadwood in council, some suggested that council should go for employee audits and in the process, retire the old guard, employ and train young people.

“There are plenty of young people who are jobless.

“The budget should have allowance for part-time workforce time and again. This is in areas like grass cutting, drainage clearance and so on. This will empower the local youth who are roaming around. The majority of the youths voted for the new councillors,” said Mr Panganai.

Residents said they expect nothing but service delivery and are not prepared for excuses from the incoming councillors.

At Monday’s pre-budget meeting held at Town House, business people expressed concern over council licences.

Council officials said the licences vary depending on the nature of business and are charged in foreign currency although they are also payable in local currency.

Business people also called for the enforcement of council by-laws on noise pollution and vending.

In an interview, Mrs Takatadzei Musere from the City of Harare’s finance department said the issue of tariff harmonisation with business people requesting that authorities do away with duplication in the payment of fees.

“Business people are complaining that vendors are taking their business and threatening their viability,” she said.

Mrs Musere said business organisations such as the Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries, corporates such as Econet and executives from the private sector attended the meeting.

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