Tariffs shoot up

The local council here has hiked water and other tariffs by an average of 300%, it has emerged. The new charges will be implemented at the beginning of next year.

The increases come at a time when residents are failing to pay their bills under the current charges. As a result, council is owed over $8 million in unpaid bills.

According to the council 2012 budget, in possession of The Zimbabwean, water charges have been raised from 12 cents per cubic meter to 60cents. Refuse collection charges have also been increased from $1.60 to $2.50. Sewerage charges are up from $2 to $3 per month while all residents will be compelled to pay a compulsory $20 levy to buy a pump in January next year.

Use of any council hall for pre-school is now $ 300, up from just $10. The council will also charge $150 for hiring of a hall for a wedding ceremony, up from $100.

Mayor Taddious Chimombe said the increases were meant to make the council even more effective in discharging its duties. Director of Finance Edgar Mwedzi said an increase on charges, especially on water, was in line with tariffs used by other municipalities countrywide.

However, residents who spoke to The Zimbabwean said they would not be able to meet the new demands.

“The economy is still bad and everyone knows it. Where will we get the money from?” asked Tichaona kumuza from Mkoba.

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