The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Business Correspondent
THE Kwekwe City Council is designing a framework that will help the local authority start collecting mining royalties from the mines operating around the city.
Despite having a number of mining activities around the city, the local authority has not been benefiting from the firms. Instead, the mining activities have been causing a lot of damage to the city’s infrastructure with illegal gold miners targeting water and sewer pipes as they seek water for use in gold purification. The recent development also follows the failure by the local authority to raise funds to repair the town’s roads that are in a bad state.
Addressing a full council meeting last week, Kwekwe Mayor Councillor Angeline Kasipo said it was high time the local authority starts benefiting from the mines that are dotted around the city.
“We should design a framework that enable us to start collecting mining royalties from the mines around the city. The framework will be outlining what model we use for the collection of the funds whether we use output or number of employees or any other concept,” she said.
Councillors quickly adopted the motion and tasked the finance sub-committee to design the framework.
Councillors agreed that the fund would assist in improving infrastructure like roads. Director of Finance Mrs Rejoice Maweni said the two percent road levy recently introduced has been falling short in meeting its intended use.
“Since the introduction of the road levy early this year, we have collected a total of $197 000 but we have so far used about $687 000 which means we are also borrowing from the ratepayers’ money,” she said.
The local authority also received $292 000 from Zinara. During his recent tour to the city, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said Kwekwe was one of the richest cities given the large deposits of gold in the area. He urged stakeholders in the town to work together to ensure that the royalties are paid and help develop the city.
Law enforcement agents, Minister Moyo said, should play their part in ensuring that no miners default in paying their royalties to the council. He said devolution concept was aimed at using locally available resources to develop the city.