Residents Fume Over New Tariffs

Harare residents have blasted the Harare City Council for announcing four-fold to 10-fold increases in its tariffs for water, sanitation and hygiene (the WASH group), which are set to take effect on Sunday without any consultation.

Harare City Council on Monday announced a four-fold increase in water and sewer charges and an almost 10-fold rise in refuse collection charges with effect from November 1, meaning that an average high-density family will have to pay $450 a month for water, $189 for a single toilet and $270 for one bin a week, bringing the total to $909 a month.

For low-density suburbs, the equivalent will be $500 for the water, $388 for the single toilet and $383 for the bin, giving a total of $1 271 a month.

These are just the minimum charges. A second toilet, a bit of extra water, and the charges will soar.

Combined Harare Residents Association director Mrs Loreen Mupasiri-Sani said her organisation was concerned by Harare City Council’s decision, which has seen the supplementary budget being passed without the input of key stakeholders.

“We reject the supplementary budget, which seeks to increase water, sewerage and refuse collection fees for the following reasons: the budget advisory committee was not informed or consulted on the proposed budget, which is a product of an exclusionary process,” she said.

“The City of Harare cannot increase tariffs for a service they are failing to provide. With the current rates compliance or collection efficiency below 40 percent, the move will punish the few ratepayer’s that have been paying their rates religiously. We expected the city to come up with measures to improve revenue collection rather than to increase tariffs.”

Mrs Mupasiri-Sani said there was no need to come up with a supplementary budget for the next two months when the 2021 budget was being crafted.

“The local currency has been stabilising so there is no need to increase rates,” she said.

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