CHISIPITE residents owe the highest debt to the City of Harare at $298 million among the suburbs in Ward 8.
Diana Nherera Suburban Reporter
Following closely to Chisipite, are Highlands residents who owed the city $147 million and residents from Runniville owe the municipality $1 176 000.
Speaking at the Ward 8 pre-budget consultative meeting in Highlands on Tuesday night this week, City of Harare revenue collection manager Mr Alfred Guni said council billed Highlands residents a total of $431m from January to July 2022 yet the revenue collected from ratepayers in the same suburb at $217 million was slightly above half of the billed amount.
He said Chisipite residents owed the municipality $120million at the beginning of the year but by July the debt had shot up to $298 million.
Ratepayers from Runniville owed council $455 000 at the beginning of the year and by July were in default to the tune of $1 176 000.
“We started the year with an outstanding balance of $335 389 000.
“We billed a total of $920 921 000 from January to July and collections from the ward in total are $415 657 000 and total outstanding as at 31 July 2022 was $841 154 000,” said Mr Guni. The rate of revenue collection in Chisipite stands at 7,27 percent while in Highlands it is slightly better at 16,32 percent though still poor.
Mr Guni said the average revenue collection rate for the entire ward stands at a measly 3,8 percent.
He said what residents from Runniville, Colne Valley, Rolf Valley, Newlands and Lewisam had paid the city had not cleared what they were owing at the beginning of year.
“As we compare the potential of the ward, the inflows coming from the ward constitute two percent of the total inflows that we have received as the City of Harare from the residents.
“We have received two percent when we could have received four percent,” said Mr Guni.
He said in the previous budget, residents proposed that a refuse compactor must be bought for use in the ward. Residents also wanted one of the major roads in the ward Kew Drive repaired and street lights repaired. Grass cutting, an improvement in water supply, road maintenance, refuse collection, essential medicines at council clinics and preservation of wetlands were among other service delivery issues proposed by residents.
Mr Guni said the city had budgeted to buy 15 refuse trucks at a cost of $369m but the cost has since gone up to more than $1billion. He said council had made provisions to undertake water pipe replacement at a cost of $150m but that has since shot up to $720m.
He said the city had made plans to buy skip bins at a cost of $25m but the cost has jumped to $120m.
On a positive note, Mr Guni said the city had managed to rehabilitate the Alexandra Park pump station to improve water pumping capacity.
“We have also done some pipe replacement in the ward and road repairs,” said Mr Guni.