City’s toilet census causes stir

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THE Bulawayo Progressive Residents’ Association (Bpra) and some Bulawayo councillors have raised concern at the ongoing counting of toilets and bins in each household in the city saying it is a waste of resources.

STAFF REPORTER

The local authority notified residents through press notices a fortnight ago that its officials would be going door to door gathering and updating information about properties in its data base.

“Bulawayo City Council will be undertaking an exercise to update information about properties in its data base from 1 April 2014 onwards.

“Residents are advised that they will be visited by council officials collecting data about property,” part of the notice reads.

Under the exercise, council officials are keen to establish (the) number of toilets and bins in each residential property, business premises and in schools.

“This is to check for information such as owner of the property, the location of the billed property, the stand number, the status of the meter, meter number, number of toilets in the household, number of bins in the household etc. When we are checking inside your house, we would request to be accompanied to each room,” council said.

However, Bpra said council already had such details as it was the one that approved building plans.

“As an association, we thought this kind of information was already in the local authority’s hands through the process for approval of plans before construction of properties and through the inspection of new constructions. The rationale for the survey thus eludes us.

“It seems their drive is to increase revenue streams to the local authority, which is not a bad endeavour, but we are concerned about how much the exercise will cost and whether it would not have been a better move to channel the funds towards service delivery,” Bpra information officer Zibusiso Dube said.

A councillor said they were not consulted on the matter and it was difficult to explain to residents the nature of the exercise.

“We are having difficulties explaining to residents the nature of the process. We don’t have much to say as we were not briefed, but from what we hear, officials will be entering each house collecting detail about toilets.

“What if people refuse them entry? That would be a waste of money as people involved would be paid allowances,” a councillor who declined to be named, said.