Gweru residents are against the council’s decision to increase rates on water, refuse and sewage. This comes after mayor Josiah Makombe revealed that the current rates are unsustainable for the council, and proposed an upward adjustment.
However, Gweru Residents Forum director Charles Mazorodze told Southern Eye that residents will not be able to afford high rates. He said:
There is a need for the councillors to undertake citywide consultations and assessments by way of talking to residents about the intended supplementary budget.
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The residents at the moment are failing to pay the current rates, and so it’s unlikely they will afford higher charges.
There is a need to strike a balance between operational demands of the council in providing services and the economic capacities of the communities which are supposed to be receiving services.
Councils are not profit-making organisations and as such, they must operate on a cost-recovery basis, having the poor and marginalised communities at heart.
The government has already approved Gweru City Council’s $45 million 2019 budget. A supplementary budget will have to be approved by the relevant authorities.
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