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Bulawayo unveils standstill US$160 million budget for 2023; move to ease burden on residents and ratepayers

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


THE Bulawayo City Council Monday unveiled a US$157,99 million budget for the 2023 financial year.

Under the proposed budget which was presented by council’s Finance and Development Committee chairperson, Tawanda Ruzive, all rates and tariffs increments will be put on ice while council will intensify efforts to collect money it is owed by debtors.

Ruzive also proposed a capital budget of US$106 million.

“Sentiments expressed on the 2023 proposed budget during the consultation meetings were focused on the need to improve service delivery at an affordable charge.

“However, there was a realisation that any further increase of the current US dollar tariffs would burden the citizenry of Bulawayo and exacerbate their indebtedness to council.

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“To achieve the aspirations of residents and stakeholders requires adequate resources and investment which talks to the US$157,99 million,” said Ruzive.

Service delivery in the city is currently subdued due to financial constraints as witnessed by the low budget expenditure.

“Amongst the issues raised residents and stakeholders bemoaned deteriorating service delivery.

“They desire to have roads rehabilitated as opposed to pothole patching, sewer blockages permanently addressed or attended to expeditiously, water losses from leaks and bursts reduced, replacing old pipes with new ones, functioning street lights on every road with all tower lights working properly,” he said.

Ruzive said the 2023 capital budget projects will be funded from external borrowing, revenue contributions to capital outlay, Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) funding, devolution funds and anticipated donations.

“Public subscription (presale scheme) in various suburbs have been budgeted for in 2023 capital budget premised on successful conclusion of negotiations with beneficiaries”

The proposed budget was adopted by Ward 22 Councillor Rodney Jele while Councillor Tinevimbo Maphosa seconded it.