By Andile Mvundla
The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has revised downwards its proposed 2022 budget to ZWL$ 23,863,515,157 with a revenue budget of ZWL$ 15,957,224,900 and capital budget of ZWL$ 7,906,290,257.
Previously the BCC had proposed a budget of ZWL$ 24, 741, 154, 503 .
The review means tariff hikes for ratepayers have gone down by 16% from 216% to 200%.The reduction was adopted by a special council meeting held on Tuesday.
Announcing the budget at the Council Chambers on Thursday , BCC Finance Chairperson , Councillor Tawanda Ruzive , said that the reviewed budget seeks to address issues affecting the citizens in different wards across the city and improving service delivery.
“The 2022 budget seeks to ensure the city responds to the issues affecting the generality of its citizens . Council is indeed aware of the state of public infrastructure such as roads , sewerage , water , sanitation and wishes to improve these in the year 2022 as adequate provisions have been made”.
Under the reviewed proposed budget rates for domestic property will increase by 150% while non domestic property rates will go up by 177%.
Residents in Ward 1 will be expected to fork out ZWL $ 11,404.29 up from ZWL $ 4,467.51 , Ward 2 ZWL $ 5,187.76 up from ZWL$ 1,980.90 ; Ward 3 & 5 ZWL$ 7,364.07 up from ZWL$ 2,851.43 ; Ward 4 ZWL$ 10,160.68 up from ZWL $3,970.07 ; Ward 6 ZWL $6,742.26 from ZWL$ 2,602.71 ; Ward 7 ZWL $ 3,022.69 from ZWL $ 1,137.94 ; Ward 8,10,11,12,14,16,22,23, 24,25,26,27 ZWL$3,147.96 from ZWL$1,188.04 ; Ward 9 ZWL$ 3,163.05 from ZWL$1,194.08 ; Ward 13 ZWL$2,805.36 from ZWL$ 1,051.00 and Ward 15,17,18,19,20,21,28,29 ZWL$ 2,898.94 from ZWL$1,088.43
Water charges for domestic consumption will go up by 150 % while non domestic use will go up by 180%.
ZWL $ 4,3 billion of the budget will be channeled towards health services , 2,1 billion on water and sewer maintenance and $896 million on roads
Waste water charges will increase by 150% for both domestic and non domestic users . Domestic charges for solid waste management which includes refuse removal will go up by 150% and for non -domestic it will go up by 160%.
Charges such as admission fees to stadia and swimming pools , hire of council facilities , patient fees for use of an ambulance , cessation fees and similar charges classified as fees will go up by 450%.
Shop licences , liquor licences , garage licences , trading permits , route approval , development permits and inspection fees classified as licences will increase by 450%.
Council rented properties will increase by 250%. Sale of pit sand and precast products will increase by 626%.
Councilor Ruzive added that the BCC is also expecting an allocation of devolution funds from government for the upcoming year which will boost the city’s projects.
“Council is grateful to the government for the provision of devolution funds which saw various projects being undertaken.
Council is expecting further funding under devolution funds from the government in the year 2022. The allocation which will be available when the national budget is announced will be utilised on projects such as wards with high level of poverty and infrastructure development”.
The rates percentage increase review comes after objections were made by stakeholders in the city .