GWERU City Council yesterday adopted the proposed $31 million budget for 2016 with the local authority now set to submit its proposal to the Local Government ministry for approval.
by Stephen Chadenga
Acting town clerk, Edgar Mwedzi moved a motion to adopt the budget which was unanimously agreed at a full council meeting held in the mayor’s boardroom.
The budget, a slight decrease from last year’s $33 million and unveiled to the stakeholders last November saw the city slashing water tariffs by 10%.
When he presented the budget, finance director, Mwedzi said council had taken into account the economic hardships faced by residents. He said it was a “static budget.”
“Our budget is basically a static one, as we have slightly decreased it from last year’s $33m to $31m,” Mwedzi said.
Except for the water charges, all other tariffs remained unchanged as the local authority sought to ease the economic burden on ratepayers.
The domestic consumption water charge per cubic metre up to 20 cubic metres, was reduced from 80 cents to 70 cents, while consumption of 21 to 30 cubic metres fell from $1,20 to $1,05, 31 to 50 cubic metres from $1,60 to $1,40, 51 to 100 cubic metres from $2 to $1,75, while more than 100 cubic metres consumption was reduced from $2,50 to $2,20 per cubic metre.
Commercial and industrial consumption of one to 100 cubic metres was reduced from $1,60 to $1,40 per cubic metre, while that above 100 cubic metres from $1 to 90 cents. Raw water charges were reduced to 90 cents from $1 per cubic metre.
But when the budget was unveiled last year, Gweru Residents and Ratepayers’ Association chairperson, Cornelius Selipiwe said the reductions “were cosmetic as residents had not agreed to the 35% tariff increase effected by council last year.”