THE Bulawayo City Council has urged residents to approach its offices to negotiate payment plans to clear their debts to avoid having their water supplies disconnected.
The Council last week said it had begun disconnecting water supplies over outstanding payments.
In a meeting held yesterday at Matshobana hall with Mpopoma and Matshobana residents, a city council official, Misheck Mpofu, said disconnecting water supplies was a last resort.
“It is not our desire to disconnect water for people, knowing that people are struggling to survive, but the bills have to be paid and the council needs the money,” he explained.
Mpofu said residents with problems of clearing their bills should consult the local authority and negotiate on the terms and conditions of the payments, so they can manage to clear their arrears. He told residents that the council had stopped sending court summons and urged them to pay their bills to avoid disconnection.
Mpofu also clarified how the council charges its fixed monthly bill, saying a water meter $10,21, while fixed sewer charges are $0,50 and value added tax was $0,70, adding up to $11,41. He said the water consumption is $5 per month and 70% sewer charges, amounting to $3.50.
“The average bill that people should receive a month should be between $19 and $20,” he said.
“If people receive more than the above bill, investigations will take place to ensure that there are no errors.” Mpofu advised residents who do not own meters to buy them, adding that their money would be replaced.
He said it is difficult to charge people who do not have meters because at times they consume a lot of water and sometimes less.