BEITBRIDGE TOWN COUNCIL has agreed a payment plan with the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) to settle a $7 million debt that had seen the parastatal cutting off water supplies to the border town.
Town secretary Simon Muleya confirmed the deal and appealed to residents to pay their bills for it to work.
The debt has been accumulating since 2009 resulting in Zinwa reducing water supplies to the town.
It is understood that the local authority is failing to raise $150 000, which is needed by the water authority per month.
The development has seen Zinwa pumping water to the town for only four hours triggering serious water shortages across Beitbridge.
“We have made an arrangement with Zinwa, which is why we are having water these days,” Muleya said.
“The major problem we are facing is that residents are not coming forward.
“Residents need to play their part by paying their bills on time so that we could be able to offset the debt and restore normal water supplies.
“You will note that we have even tasked councillors to go back to their respective wards to encourage residents to settle their bills.”
He said they would continue mobilising residents to pay up the water bills.
According to the last population census, Beitbridge has a population of 42 218 people with 11 959 households and requires 15 000 cubic metres of water per day.
Zinwa public relations officer Tsungirirai Shoriwa told Southern Eye the Beitbridge Town Council had made a commitment to settle the debt.
“We have agreed in principle that they should pay a certain amount while they are drafting a comprehensive payment plan,” he said.
“They did pay that amount, so we are now waiting for their payment plan.”
Taps in the border town ran dry in April when Zinwa and the local authority failed to agree on a payment plan although they found mutual ground last month.
However, the water woes are set to persist should the local authority fail to honour part of the agreement.