Pamela Shumba, Senior Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council is considering coming up with a second supplementary budget to increase rates by up to 1 000 percent arguing the city is in a crisis as it is failing to provide services.
The proposal comes at a time when Government is yet to approve the city’s first supplementary budget which sought to increase rates by 42 percent.
In May, the city council proposed to increase rates by 42 percent after residents rejected a 56 percent increment to finance its supplementary budget.
Speaking during a full council meeting on Wednesday, chairperson of the environmental management and engineering services committee Councillor Norman Hlabani said the 42 percent increment had been overtaken by events and would not assist council in any way.
“We’re in crisis and we’re failing to deliver the required services to the residents. We have no money because what the residents are paying is not enough to sustain council operations. We have decided that next week, all the 29 wards will inform the residents that we’re increasing by 1 000 percent,” said Cllr Hlabani.
He said council was struggling to attend to faulty sewer and water pipes due to lack of funding, adding that residents should pay more for council services.
“Inflation has increased significantly since last year and this obviously compromises service delivery. Residents therefore have to pay more to the city council,” said Clr Silas Chigora.
“We’re experiencing sewerage spillages and water bursts that must be attended to promptly to minimise impact on residents, reduce water losses and save on costs but we can’t do that because we don’t have the capacity.”
Other councillors expressed concern over poor service delivery by the city council, saying the local authority’s standards were deteriorating, while infrastructure was breaking down and council was failing to repair it.
They said council clinics were also failing to effectively deliver due to inadequate human resources, while some residents were going for days without water due to burst pipes.
They also highlighted that the shortage of fuel was seriously affecting their operations, especially critical services and refuse collection. — @pamelashumba1.