The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Online News Editor
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has reduced their budget projects for 2022 from $24 billion to $23 billion after residents raised concern over the margin of increment that was initially suggested by the local authority.
At the onset of the 2022 budget consultation exercise last month, the local authority announced a $24,7 billion with $16,8 billion being the revenue budget while $7,9 billion was the capital budget.
However, presenting the 2022 budget proposal on Thursday afternoon, the chairperson of the finance and development, Councillor Tawanda Ruzive said as ‘a listening council’ they had decided to slash the proposed budget by $900 million to $23,8 billion.
Of the $23,8 billion, $15,9 billion will be the revenue budget while $7,9 billion will be the capital budget.
“Residents shared their views on the budget proposals and what came out of the deliberations was the need to improve service delivery. However many felt that the level of increases were unaffordable. In crafting this budget the views of the residents were taken aboard. We are after all, a listening council.
“In view of the foregoing, propose that the total budget for 2022 be pegged at $23,8 billion. The 2022 budget proposes to increase tariffs by varying percentages as opposed to a blanket increase as was done in the past. The overall average increase will be 200 percent down from the 216 percent. Compared with 2021 budget increases of 421 percent, the 2022 budget increase in tariffs have been reduced to an average of 200 percent,” said Clr Ruzive.
He revealed that the rates for domestic properties will increase by 150 percent whereas non domestic property rates will increase by 177 percent, water charges for domestic consumption will increase by 150 percent while water for non-domestic use will go up by 180 percent.
Waste water charges will increase by 150 percent for both domestic and non-domestic users, while domestic charges for solid waste management, which includes refuse removal, will go up by 150 percent and for non-domestic it will go up by 160 percent.
“Charges such as admission fees to stadia and swimming pools, hire of council facilities, patient fees for use of an ambulance, cessation fees and similar charges classified as fees will go up by 450 percent.
“Shop licences, liquor licences, garage licences, trading permits, route approval, development permits and inspection fees classified as licences will increase by 450 percent. Council rented properties will increase by 250 percent. Sale of pit sand and precast products will increase by 626 percent,” said Clr Ruzive.
He further noted that council is mandated to deliver quality services to the residents and that quality comes at a cost, which continues to go up.
Clr Ruzive said the plight of residents cannot be ignored and hence there is need to balance the level of service delivery and tariff affordability, with the proposal meant to ensure that economic tariffs are charged so that services continue to be enjoyed by the residents.
“As we deliberate on the budget proposal, it is important therefore that we focus on our vision. The budget activities and our priority list should motivate all of us to walk this painful journey to glory,” he said.