Gwanda pro­poses $6,4m bud­get

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Business - Richard Muponde Gwanda Cor­re­spon­dent

GWANDA mu­nic­i­pal­ity has pro­posed a $6,4 mil­lion bud­get for 2017 main­tain­ing the cur­rent bud­get as it seeks to im­prove ser­vice de­liv­ery in the min­ing town.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity’s 2016 bud­get says it is tar­get­ing im­prov­ing in­fra­struc­ture like resur­fac­ing of roads, erect­ing traf­fic lights and con­struc­tion of a five me­gal­itres Spitzkop water reser­voir seen as a panacea to peren­nial water prob­lems.

The pro­posal was made at a busi­ness and bud­get con­sul­ta­tive meet­ing with busi­ness­peo­ple and res­i­dents in Gwanda re­cently.

Mr Xolani Dube, the city’s trea­surer, sub­mit­ted the pro­posed bud­get.

“Our in­ten­tion is to main­tain the bud­get for 2017 and also make sure that we solve the is­sue of water charges and the Zinwa debt. In June 2013 there was a di­rec­tive by the Gov­ern­ment to clear all debts. Af­ter we had cleared our debts we ap­proached Zinwa ask­ing them to com­ply with the Gov­ern­ment ini­tia­tive and it only cleared 40 per­cent of our debt,” Mr Dube said.

He said the coun­cil has a feel­ing that the charges by Zinwa were un­jus­ti­fi­able com­pared to other towns.

“Zinwa was us­ing es­ti­mated fig­ures as these were not the ac­tual me­ter prices for the kilo­litres that the mu­nic­i­pal­ity used. We as the coun­cil feel that this is an es­ti­mated fig­ure and we will have to sit down and rec­tify the prob­lem,” Mr Dube said.

The new bud­get comes at a time when coun­cil owes over $12 mil­lion to cred­i­tors, the bulk of it to Zinwa, which is owed $9 473157. GTC is owed $5 689 083 by res­i­dents in un­paid bills. The lo­cal au­thor­ity is in fi­nan­cial dire straits and sur­vives on sell­ing land to fund day-to-day op­er­a­tions, a sit­u­a­tion which is com­pro­mis­ing ser­vice de­liv­ery. —@ richardmuponde

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