Council increase water tariffs, clamping and tow away fees in $400 million "pro-poor" budget
Harare city council has budgeted millions of dollars to arrest chaos caused by illegal taxi operators, vendors and other operators while increasing clamping and tow away fees by 100% in its 2019 budget.
Presenting his more than $400 million budget hailed by councillors as a pro-poor budget, Finance and Development Committee chairperson Luckson Mukunguma also increased water tariffs by 19% citing the cost of provision of potable water.
In his budget presentation, Mukunguma also bemoaned unavailability of foreign currency as a major stumbling block in service provision adding that the central bank had promised to avail the much needed money to address some challenges.
“Your worship, the economic environment is volatile and makes it difficult to make certain fundamental assumptions. We are hopeful that the New Year will see positive changes on the economic landscape and as such only modest tariff increases are proposed in the budget,” he said.
Ten million dollars has been set aside for traffic management system to curb congestion in the city centre.
“Lawlessness in the CBD has risen to unacceptable levels. Charges to curb the same should be sufficiently punitive hence proposals to increase clamping, tow away and storage charges by 100%.”
In justifying water tariff increases, council said : “The justification for water tariff increase has been a drastic increase in cost of inputs namely chemicals, cost of repairs and maintenance, capital charges on borrowed funds for capital works and other operational expenses. Projected cost of producing one cubic metre of water in 2019 is US$0.83 up from US$0.70 in 2018.
Harare Mayor Herbert Gomba described the budget as pro-poor and that the city was moving in to achieve its Smart city concept.