Prepaid water for Gweru
CASH-strapped Gweru City Council (GCC) is set to roll out pre-paid water meters to improve revenue inflows and conserve water.
Speaking during the 2017 budget consultative meeting with the business community at the Gweru Civic Centre this week, acting Town Clerk Mr Edgar Mwedzi said the move would help council recover $37 million that it is owed by defaulting ratepayers.
The local authority has proposed a standstill 2017 budget of $41 million, with no increase in tariffs in a bid to cushion residents against the harsh economic environment.
Mr Mwedzi said council was in the process of looking for partners to assist in the implementation of the project.
“Pre-paid water meters are a reality. We are in the process of requesting for proposals because we might not be able to fund the project ourselves but we would rather have partners who can install the meters and then recover the money as payments are made,” he said.
Mr Mwedzi said the prepaid water meters would deal with the problem of defaulters, corruption and revenue leakages, as well as enhancing service delivery.
He said council had also recruited substantive directors of engineering, health, housing and community services to improve service delivery in line with the directive from the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ministry.
Meanwhile, Mr Mwedzi said his council had resolved to backlog.
“We have salary arrears and we are moving towards settling the workers’ outstanding salaries and bonuses with residential stands. Some have already signed forms,” he said.
Civil society organisations have mobilised residents to resist installation of pre-paid water meters in most parts of the country, arguing that those who fail to pay would be denied their basic human right of access to clean water. —@pchitumba1 clear workers’ salary