Vic Falls offers 50 pc dis­count to ratepay­ers

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Leonard Ncube Vic­to­ria Falls Re­porter

VIC­TO­RIA Falls Mu­nic­i­pal­ity is of­fer­ing up to 50 per­cent dis­count to fully paid up ratepay­ers as the lo­cal author­ity strug­gles to re­cover in ex­cess of $12 mil­lion it is owed.

Last year, the mu­nic­i­pal­ity of­fered 20 per­cent dis­count on ser­vice rates to the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in its 2016 bud­get, af­ter a steep in­crease the pre­vi­ous year drew wide­spread crit­i­cism.

Re­spond­ing to emailed ques­tions, coun­cil public re­la­tions and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment of­fi­cer Mr Ngqabutho Moyo said the fa­cil­ity is be­ing ex­tended to both res­i­dents and the busi­ness com­mu­nity.

“We do dis­count ev­ery­one in Vic­to­ria Falls but that is sub­ject to the pre­vail­ing cir­cum­stances in a par­tic­u­lar year. The hos­pi­tal­ity sec­tor had bar­gained for a 20 per­cent re­duc­tion on rates, which was ef­fected and we are cur­rently giv­ing 25 per­cent dis­count on res­i­dents who in­tend to clear their ar­rears on rates that ex­clude wa­ter and land charges and 50 per­cent dis­count to fully paid-up ac­counts,” said Mr Moyo.

He said coun­cil was owed $12 157 446 by a cross­sec­tion of ratepay­ers: the busi­ness sec­tor, hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try, SMEs as well as Govern­ment de­part­ments.

Mr Moyo said the mu­nic­i­pal­ity re­alised lim­ited ben­e­fits from last year’s of­fer, but hoped for pos­i­tive re­sults this time around.

“We have re­alised less pos­i­tive re­sults from our pre­vi­ous pro­mo­tional cam­paign since only a few com­pa­nies took ad­van­tage of the re­duc­tion and cleared their rates which they have main­tained up to date. How­ever, most of them are still strug­gling to do so,” he said.

Coun­cil is in the process of craft­ing a $21 mil­lion 2017 bud­get af­ter com­plet­ing con­sul­ta­tive meet­ings.

Mr Moyo said the 2017 bud­get fo­cuses mostly on de­vel­op­ing ba­sic ser­vice in­fra­struc­ture, wa­ter, san­i­ta­tion and street light­ing among oth­ers. — @ncubeleon

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