New Zimbabwe.com

Redcliff says owed $15 million by government

The financially-hamstrung Redcliff municipality has said the recovery of $15 million which the local authority is being owed by government will go a long way in improving service delivery in the dormitory town.
Government accumulated this hefty amount after it assumed the debt of the now defunct Ziscosteel.
In a bid to attract fresh investment into the parastatal, government took over all of the company’s debts.
The debt has nearly crippled operations at Redcliff municipality which is currently facing a plethora of challenges chief amongst them being water supply.
Residents have since turned to unprotected water sources raising fears of cholera and typhoid outbreak.
“We are being owed $15 million by government,” Town Clerk Gilson Chakauya said in an interview.
The city CEO said inter-ministerial discussions on how to recover the debt were at an advanced stage.
“We are engaging government to pay us so that we will be able to implement some of our projects which have been shelved due to the non-availability of funds,” he said.
He said if government avails the money the local authority will be cushioned to improve on service delivery.
“Engagements had started at inter-ministerial level and we are optimistic that government will honour their financial obligation so that we will be able to also honour our debts.
“We will be able to pay our water supplier Kwekwe City Council and also settle the worker’s salary arrears,” he said.
Acting finance director, Lindiwe Whata, has since said Redcliff’s obligations stand at $22 million.
Chakauya said council has improved in terms of revenue collection and is also managing to settle some of its employee’s salary arrears after Ziscosteel, last year, started to pay former employees.
Government, last year, availed a $38 million windfall as part of the outstanding salaries backdated to 2009.
This subsequently led to an improvement in terms of revenue collection at the local authority.
“Our finances have dramatically improved ever since Ziscosteel employees started to receive their pay-outs,” said Chakauya.Advertisement