by ALLIEWAY NYONI
THE rising inflation triggered by the country’s economic meltdown has caused further delays in Zvishavane Town Council (ZTC)’s projections and drafting of its budget for next year.
The Local Government ministry has given councils up to the end of this month to submit their proposed 2020 budgets, but ZTC is yet to commence consultations.
Speaking to NewsDay, ZTC town secretary Tinoda Mukutu said the delay has been caused by the economic meltdown, which has made it difficult for the council to place figures that will not hinder its 2020 projects.
“Our delay has been caused by inflation. The rising cost of living makes it difficult for council to find the exact percentage rise that will see the council running smoothly in 2020,” Mukutu said.
“But we hope for the better and upon certain consultations, I am sure by the end of October we will manage to beat the deadline.”
ZTC had its 2019 budget pegged at $8,4 million before applying for a $14 million supplementary budget to the relevant ministry in August. Mukutu said Zvishavane has adjusted rates by more than 100% so that the council is able to generate enough revenue needed to meet its day-to-day operations.
“As you know, in August, just like Harare and Kwekwe, just to mention a few, we adjusted our budget to suit the current economic situation. Other rates were adjusted by 100%, while others by 50%. This enabled the council to purchase various goods necessary for service delivery. Of late we have been failing to purchase fuel for garbage collection.
“We are also failing to secure water treatment chemicals, a situation that has put residents’ lives at risk. The municipality has also started disconnecting water to residents who are defaulting on their payments as we are owed over $40 million by both residents and companies. We hope we will be able to recover some of the money by disconnecting water,” he said.
Mukutu said the 2020 budget demands intensive consultations following the expansion of the council’s area of jurisdiction after the taking over of eight Shabanie Mine residential areas that constitute almost two thirds of the town’s population.