Govt cuts Byo budget by $10m

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THE GOVERNMENT has ordered the struggling Bulawayo City Council to reduce the 2014 revenue budget by $10 million, a move the local authority said will have knock on effects on service delivery and entire operations.

NQOBANI NDLOVU
STAFF REPORTER

Council had a proposed revenue budget ofS$113, 762 104 for the year which has since been slashed to $103, 762, 104 following the government directive, according to the latest council minutes.

The directive followed a meeting Finance director Kimpton Ndimande had with officials from the Local Government, Rural and Urban Development officials in January to discuss the council’s budget.

According to the Finance and Development committee minutes, Local Government officials expressed reservations over the budget and impressed upon the local authority to reduce it by $10 million.

“An interdepartmental committee had then convened on the 12th of February 2014 in order to implement the directive and reduced the budget by ten million dollars.

“The 2014 revenue budget figure was now $103 762,104, compared to the initial budget figure of $113 762,104.

“The reduction of the 2014 budgeted income by $10 million would also have an impact on the level of service delivery as projected expenditure had been reduced by the same margin,” part of the minutes read.

The pro-poor council revenue budget had emphasis on prioritising water, health, sewerage, housing, roads, and education among other key services.

Under the budget, the council was projecting to spend $22,8 million on water, $26,6 million on health with a proposed income of $40 million and $10 million respectively.

The government directive that will impact on service delivery comes at a time when the local authority is already hard pressed to carry out essential services and pay salaries and creditors.