Rusape ratepayers owe council $24m
RUSAPE Town Council is owed $24 million in unpaid rates, levies and licences by residents and other ratepayers.
This was revealed by town secretary, Mr Solomon Gabaza who said his council had proposed a $7,1 million budget for the year 2019 with the majority of funds being allocated to capital expenditure.
“Our residents and ratepayers owe council $24 million in unpaid rates,” he said.
“We have not yet engaged the services of debt collectors or our lawyers to recover the debts, but we are using the dialogue method in which our debtors are clearing their arrears through payment plans.
“We constantly remind them to clear their debts so that we continue providing quality service to them. Some are heeding the call and have already started clearing their debts and we continue to urge others to follow suit.”
Turning to the 2019 budget, Mr Gabaza said Rusape had not increased rates and tariffs for this year.
“We have budgeted $7,1 million for the 2019 financial year,” he said.
“Council finished consulting all our stakeholders who include residents, the business community, small to medium enterprises, residents’ associations and churches among other stakeholders.
“The feedback and contributions we got from the consultations were encouraging, as stakeholders were very supportive of our decision not to increase rates.
“Capital expenditure is going to chew the huge percentage of the funds as we are going to carry out a number of projects. We are going to tar many of our gravel roads. We have budgeted for the resuscitation of Makoni Country Club and Vengere sports facilities.
“We intend to construct a fire station and purchase a new fire tender to complement the one we have. Council is going to buy a new ambulance to service our three clinics.
“At Vengere bus terminus we are going to put new and modern sheds.
“We are going to have massive sewer reticulation projects in all the new stands and replace ageing sewer and water pipes in the whole town.”
Rusape is the second largest urban settlement in Manicaland with a population of 35 000 residents and is eyeing municipal status by the year 2020.