Kwekwe(The Times-New Ziana) -Kwekwe City Council has unveiled a $471 million budget for 2020 which it says will enable it to improve service delivery.
The proposed budget is set to be implemented in March next year if the Ministry of Local Government approves it.
“Council is facing so many challenges so this budget will help us overcome and sustain challenges within our service delivery,” said mayor councilor Angelina Kasipo during an interview.
Council spends RTGS$2.9 million every month on electricity for its water plant which is however affected by power cuts, affecting the availability of clean water to residents.
In the proposed $471 million budget, $100 000 will be used to purchase a vehicle for the mayor, a Toyota Fortuner, while the directors of Housing, Health and Human Resources will get Mazda BT 50s, worth $800 000 each.
Water charges for both high and low density suburbs will be increased by more than 200 percent, sewer 300 percent while fixed water charges increase from RTGS$4 to RTGS$20 per month.
The budget is currently waiting adoption by the full council after budget consultations with residents were done last week.
The Kwekwe business community and residents association have however, raised a red flag on how the council came up with such huge increments in rates. They also complained about the way council conducted its budget consultations.
Kasipo said the city council was prepared to engage the business community on their concerns with the 2020 budget.
She said council would embark on a solar project to light up the streets.
“We are going to set up solar street lights in the CBD. We have started procuring the required materials and will not wait for the 2020 budget,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kwekwe City Council is owed over $50 million by both residents and ratepayers which has affected service delivery, while creditors stand at $34.7 million.
Presenting the 2020 budget proposal, finance director Rejoice Mawere said former steel manufacturing giant Ziscosteel owed the most at $5.8 million, while Redcliff Municipality owed $3.7 million in water bills.
Mawere said Zimasco owed $832 544, while Ziscosteel sister company Lancashire Steel owed the local authority $241 346, while schools owe about $100 000.