Standstill budget for Bulilima
BULILIMA Rural District Council has proposed a $2,5 million standstill budget for 2017 as it seeks to improve service delivery.
The local authority’s 2017 budget is targeting the construction of health and education infrastructure as well as the servicing of residential stands.
A total of $24 000 has been set aside to cater for health and education infrastructure while $76 600 has been allocated towards financing a council farm project aimed at boosting revenue collection.
Mr Tapson Hanyane, the council’s finance committee chairperson submitted the proposed budget at a full council meeting.
“The proposed 2017 estimate is a standstill budget. Provisions for the year 2017 stand at $2, 578 136 while the 2016 budget was at $2, 568 039.
“The difference has been necessitated by the decrease in the number of trading licences. However, rates will remain the same,” he said.
Mr Hanyane said council had allocated significant resources towards the education sector to ensure that orphans get proper education and new schools would be constructed to reduce distances travelled by children.
He said council would contribute towards renovating clinics and acquiring clinic material as well as the construction and maintenance of roads.
“The local authority has also allocated significant resources towards road construction and maintenance as well as completion of waiting mothers’ shelters. The council farm will also help to boost revenue collection.
“The main activity at the farm is cattle ranching and council is set to introduce poultry projects. The projects that have been lined up for the year 2017 will be complemented by community support and other initiatives,” said Mr Hanyane.
He said by August 31 the local authority had only collected $411 229 of the projected 2016 budget. He said the low collection rate caused limited service delivery to communities and also increased debts.
Mr Hanyane said council’s main debtors were unit tax payers, development levy and stand rentals payers.
He said some rate payers owed council unit tax payments for the year 2013 and 2014.
The new budget comes at a time when council owes $755 195 to creditors.
Bulilima Rural District Council Chief Executive Officer, Mr John Brown, said the local authority was in the process of consulting villagers in all 22 wards of the district on next year’s budget.— @DubeMatutu.