THE government has approved Bulawayo City Council’s supplementary budget which will see rates going up by 372%.
In October this year, the city council proposed a $550, 792,328 supplementary budget as well as a $16,030,483,310 budget for 2021.
Presenting the two budgets to council, the finance committee chairperson, Mlandu Ncube said the proposed budgets will prioritise water, health, sewage, housing, roads, education, public street lighting, and social services.
In a public notice, town clerk Christopher Dube confirmed that government had approved the proposed budgets.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to advice members of the public and its valued customers that the 2020 supplementary budget has been approved. Charges will be going up by 372%,” Dube said.
He said the new charges will reflect in the January 2021 bills.
“The City of Bulawayo would like to encourage residents to continue paying their bills on time,” said Dube.
However, the city council’s notice immediately invited the wrath of residents who felt the increment was not commensurate with service delivery.
“Drainage system is not there, water is not available, bins you don’t collect, street lights asila, pho yimali yani yonke le (so what really has inspired the rates increase),” responded a resident on the social media platform.
Another resident also had no kind words for council.
“Imagine a council failing to look after a park is now asking us to pay more, no street lights, rubbish collection is only done when they want? Look at the pavements, they are death traps yet someone is paid to be a mayor of Bulawayo? That title should be taken away for the moment and all that money going to the mayor should be given to the people,” another resident fumed.
“Really for what? I am lost for words. Get rid of this bunch and let us get people that know what they are doing. This is what happens when you give positions to your relatives and friends,” complained another resident.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Bulawayo City Council conducted the 2021 budget consultation meetings via the WhatsApp platform.