THE Gwanda municipality has ignored calls by residents to have water charges slashed and instead increased the cost of the precious liquid in its recently unveiled 2015 budget.
In his budget statement, finance and licensing committee chairman councillor Johane Ncube said council, which buys bulk water from the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa), had no choice but pass high water costs to residents.
In its budget consultative meetings prior to the adoption of the budget, residents had urged councillors to review downwards the cost of water.
“The municipality gets its supply of treated water from Zinwa at 81c per cubic metre,” he explained.
“To be able to pay for this water the municipality has no choice but to pass this high cost to its consumers.
“Fixed charge for domestic consumption is $1,80 while residents will pay $0,85 for consumption less than 10m2, $0,95 for less than 20m2, and $1,05 for consumption above 20m2.”
The increase in water charges comes amidst a series of water cuts by Zinwa over a $6 million debt owed by the local authority.
Ncube said the municipality would introduce prepaid meters next year in a bid to encourage savings and efficiency in water delivery.
The construction of a five megalitre Spitzkop water reservoir, which has been suspended due to a shortage of funds, is set to resume and be completed next year at a cost of $2 million.