Harare City Council has proposed to increase water charges by at least 900 per cent, while at the same time some ratepayers will be levied in foreign currency.
Following a joint meeting of the Finance and Development as well as the Human Resources and General purposes committees, the council issued a statement on Monday reads as follows:
That the town clerk and acting finance director pursues the proposal to charge certain ratepayers or customers or services or products in foreign currency after applying for obtaining the necessary exemptions referred to in the preamble above from Government.
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Harare is proposing to increase water charges from $ 0.80c per cubic meter to around $ 7.00 to allow adequate funding of the water sector.
The cost of electricity which is the second cost driver in water treatment and conveyance has also gone up. It has, therefore, become necessary to review the cost of water.
The council also explained the cause of the water shortages and blamed the water pricing structure for shortage of water in suburbs. The statement said:
The current water shortages are a result of drought, inadequate water sources and the inconsistent water pricing structure against the cost of production.
Many suburbs are going without water. The city is appealing to consumers to understand the situation and embrace the impending price adjustment that will ensure the viability of the water sector.
Council has engaged Government for the drilling of more boreholes and construction of new water sources.