Businesses petition Bulawayo council

THE Matabeleland Business Association and Affirmative Action Group have joined ranks to petition the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) over what they perceive to be abuse of its monopoly in service provision.

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In a statement jointly written by the two organisations and sent to more than 200 enterprises and companies in Bulawayo, they said they were drawing a petition to be submitted to the local authority next Friday.

Among their concerns is the attachment of properties by the city council in cases where debtors failure to settle their dues, high water and refuse collection rates, irregularities in the evaluation of property and high costs for shop licensing.

“To compound the numerous efforts we have made towards alleviating the desperate plight of business and civil society in the city, we are putting together a petition to council, expressing our plight as business and demanding action,” the statement reads.

“These submissions may be in the form of letters, addressed to the town clerk, citing the Bulawayo business community and residents as speaking with one voice, stating the company’s BCC account number, name, type and level of indebtedness.”

The petition is following a hearing held last week by the Competition and Tariffs Commission, as part of the investigation into council’s abuse of monopoly in service provision.

Investigations into the council followed a complaint in September 2009 regarding the alleged abuse of the monopoly position by the local authority with regards excessive charges on water, rates and levies to consumers of utilities and services it provides.

In November last year the commission started the full-scale investigation.

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