Mangwe reels un­der 44 per­cent bud­get cut

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube-Matutu Plumtree Cor­re­spon­dent

MANGWE Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cil (RDC) has pro­posed a $2,2 mil­lion bud­get for 2017, a 44 per­cent cut from this year’s $3,2 mil­lion bud­get as a re­sult of the pre­vail­ing eco­nomic hard­ships.

Pre­sent­ing the bud­get state­ment dur­ing a full coun­cil meet­ing, Fi­nance Com­mit­tee mem­ber, Coun­cil­lor Ngo­nidza­she Chemhuru, said the de­crease was mainly due to a re­duc­tion in ex­penses and not tar­iffs.

“It is pro­posed that the coun­cil’s bud­get for the year 2017 go down from $3 251 164 to $2 256 315. This is af­ter a re­al­i­sa­tion that the bud­get for pre­vi­ous years has been unattain­able be­cause of harsh eco­nomic con­di­tions,” she said.

Cllr Chemhuru said the lo­cal au­thor­ity had re­vised min­ing levies and school ser­vice charge fees.

“Due to the dif­fer­ences in scales of min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the dis­trict, it is pro­posed that min­ing levies be re-clas­si­fied. All min­ers are be­ing charged a blan­ket fee of $200 per mine while all millers have a blan­ket fee of $1 000 per stamp mill where as in re­al­ity they op­er­ate on dif­fer­ent scales.

“The coun­cil there­fore pro­poses that small scale min­ers should pay $100 per mine, medium scale min­ers should pay $1 000 and medium scale min­ers should pay $500 per an­num,” she said.

Cllr Chemhuru said the ser­vice charges that were be­ing paid by coun­cil had also been re­vised from $30 per term for each school to 50 cents per child each term.

She said this fee will cater for ser­vices ren­dered by coun­cil to schools such as au­dits and as­sis­tance in build­ing projects.

Clr Chemhuru said the coun­cil would also in­tro­duce a fee for drilling a bore­hole, re­place­ment of a peg, peg search and re-in­spec­tion.

She said by Au­gust this year, the RDC had col­lected nine per­cent of its an­nual bud­get.

Clr Chemhuru said this made it dif­fi­cult for the lo­cal au­thor­ity to pro­vide ser­vices and pay ser­vice providers.

She said debtors owed coun­cil $1,8 mil­lion while the lo­cal au­thor­ity owed cred­i­tors $895 724. The bulk of the debtors were farm­ers.

“We’ve put in place sev­eral strate­gies to im­prove cash in­flows. We will con­tinue en­gag­ing tra­di­tional lead­ers for col­lec­tion of de­vel­op­ment levies.

“Vil­lage heads in farm ar­eas and farm­ers as­so­ci­a­tions will be en­gaged on col­lec­tion of unit tax. They will be given in­cen­tives by coun­cil to mo­ti­vate them,’’ Cllr Chemhuru said.

The lo­cal au­thor­ity has sched­uled con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings in all its 17 wards to get feed­back on the pro­posed bud­get.—@DubeMatutu

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