Harare to blacklist rates defaulters

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Nyasha Dube  

STAFF WRITER

duben@dailynews.co.zw

HARARE City Council (HCC) plans to blacklist government departments and residents who are not paying their rates on time, the Daily News reports. 

This comes as HCC is owed $2 273 738 420, with industrial and commercial clients sitting on a huge debt of $1 255 828 875 while the government owes

$63 643 469.

The local authority claims its failure to adequately provide service delivery to residents is due to this delinquent behaviour by ratepayers.

At the moment, Harare residents are up in arms with the council as most parts of the capital have gone for weeks and months without running water.

Refuse collection is non-existent in most suburbs while sewage streams have become a common sight on the streets.

“The debt has stalled service delivery prompting council to blacklist defaulters. Council is struggling to provide services such as refuse and water because only 25 percent of ratepayers are paying.” HCC said in a social media post yesterday.

HCC finance committee chairperson councillor Tichaona Mhetu highlighted the issue when he presented the 2021 budget proposal last week.

Mhetu said council should execute an effective debt recovery plan by forming an alliance with Zesa Holdings for an effective debt collection exercise.

“On blacklisting delinquent customers, engagements with a Financial Clearing Bureau are on course and this will bring immediate results through access to debtors’ database hence there is need to expedite this process.

“Increasing payment platforms and revenue collection points is important to bring convenience to customers. Given that the existing General Valuation Roll (GVR) is outdated, council should have a GVR in place by December 2021 to capture the true value of properties commensurate with each property,” he added.

“The council has also proposed that the government take over the legacy debt of the water treatment chemicals and electricity so that they can funnel the money they receive from tariffs towards making water operations sustainable,” Mhetu said.

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