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HCC to blacklist defaulting rate payers

The Harare City Council is toying with the idea of blacklisting all rate payers, among other debt recovery strategies, who owe it money as it moves to recover more than ZWL$2 billion it is owed in unpaid rates.

According to Council the debt has undermined service delivery, such as refuse collection and water provision, as only 25 percent of rate payers are paying.

Presenting the 2021 Budget Speech and Proposals, Finance Committee chairperson Cllr Tichaona Mhetu, said council should put in place an effective debt recovery plan by working with with ZESA.

He said such an alliance would allow the City to collect debt on the ZESA platform as customers buy electricity.

“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,” he said.

He added; “Given that the existing General Valuation Roll is outdated, council should have a GVR in place by December 2021 to capture the true value of properties commensurate with each property.”

The local authority has also proposed that the central government takes over the legacy debt on water treatment chemicals and electricity to the tune of ZWL 705 and ZWL 291 million, respectively.

It is believed that this would give the City a leeway to employ the proceeds from tariff adjustments towards making water account operations sustainable.

According to Council the debt has undermined service delivery, such as refuse collection and water because only 25 percent of rate payers are paying.

As of 31 October this year, rate payers in the high density areas owed ZWL$381 706 430, low density ZWL$522 559 645, industrial and commercial ZWL$1 255 828 875 and Government ZWL$63 643 469 making a total of ZWL$2 273 738 420.

-Zwnews

 

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