Ward 17 meeting addresses service delivery challenges

29 Mar, 2024 - 00:03 0 Views
Ward 17 meeting addresses service delivery challenges Ratepayers attend the Ward 17 service delivery meeting.


Peter Tanyanyiwa Suburban Reporter

Critical service delivery issues related to water, waste management and road maintenance dominated discussions between Ward 17 residents and City of Harare officials at a meeting held last weekend.

Acting district officer at Mabelreign District Office Mrs Grace Gora, Ward 17 Councillor Happymore Gotora, Mr Victor Chifamba from the water department, and officials from waste management department and representatives from the Zimbabwe Combined Residents and Ratepayers Association attended the meeting convened at Hallingbury Primary School in Haig Park.

Residents from suburbs under Ward 17 which include Mabelreign, Sunridge, Sentosa, Avondale, Avondale West, Strathaven, Meyrick Park, Sherwood Park, and Notleyvale were in attendance.

Cllr Gotora opened the meeting by giving a summary of the previous meeting held three weeks ago at the same venue. He highlighted key points, including the current composition of the City of Harare, the reasons for poor service delivery and upcoming plans to decentralise provision of services in the city.

He told the meeting that Harare now has 59 councillors and four substantive directors overseeing essential departments such as water, works, housing, education and social services and health.

Cllr Gotora spoke about the several challenges contributing to poor service delivery in Harare.

“Several challenges contribute to poor service delivery including non-adherence to by-laws, pending approval of the budget (Government has since rejected the Harare 2024 budget proposals and the city has to redo it and resubmit),  inadequate water delivery, inefficient refuse collection, road maintenance issues, non-payment of rates, and the absence of an adequate billing system,” said Cllr Gotora.

One of the residents raised concerns about illegal vendors in the Mabelreign area and Cllr Gotora acknowledged the difficulty in dealing with the informal traders because of their ability to evade the law.

Another resident Ms Carole Pearce said the city should as a matter of urgency address the shambolic billing system at council, prompting Mr Chifamba to explain the reasons behind inaccurate water bills in Mabelreign.

Mr Chifamba attributed the inaccurate bills to faulty water meters and incorrect meter readings.

He encouraged residents to approach him or his colleagues at Rowan Martin Building for assistance and advised ratepayers to check their bills against meter readings.

He provided contacts for reporting water-related issues and highlighted the staggered water tariff designed to encourage water conservation.

ZICORRA Harare provincial chairperson Mr Lawrence Kuleya suggested that residents could consider communal boreholes as a solution to the water crisis in the ward.

“We need to work with local authorities to ensure that all public boreholes are regularly tested for water quality and that these results are disseminated to residents,” said Mr Kuleya.

Council officials told the meeting that senior citizens could apply for a 50 percent rebate on rates, subject to specific criteria.

Waste management concerns were also discussed with officials from the department highlighting the challenges faced due to the shortage of refuse compactors and inadequate fuel supplies.

The meeting also discussed security and development control issues with residents advised to organise neighbourhood watch groups for protection and to contact relevant authorities for issues such as noise pollution complaints.

A call was made for improved communication between city officials and residents, particularly when ratepayers are seeking information.

The meeting also suggested that council refuse collectors should coordinate with residents to ensure efficient waste collection in the suburbs.

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