Yeukai Karengezeka Herald Correspondent
Harare City Council has once again extended the 50 percent discount offer to ratepayers and corporates who settle their debts in full to December 31. In an interview, Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the city decided to listen to the people’s cry for the offer to be extended.
“Yes, we have decided to reintroduce the 50 percent discount offer until December 31. This follows a lot of pressure from our customers and residents who were saying the time frame that we had given them previously was very short. So as a listening council, we have acceded to their calls,” he said.
This promotion is open to businesses, churches, households and lease holders and those who had already made payments from the beginning of this month.
“What it means is that those who have been paying their rates since the beginning of this month up until now are also covered under this discount offer,” said Mr Chideme.
He encouraged all stakeholders to take advantage of the window period.
“We are encouraging all those owing council to take advantage of this special offer to settle their debts so that they can enter 2019 debt free. If they comply it also means that there will be great improvement in terms of service delivery,” said Mr Chideme.
He said the city will use legal means to recover the money it is owed by those that fail to settle their debts within the stipulated period.
The city’s fortunes have been improving since it introduced the discount offer, with council raking in $17 million for the month of September, a record which has not been achieved for the past four years.
Harare was collecting between $10 million and $12 million from potential monthly collections of $22 million but revenue has increased by up to $5 million monthly after it introduced a 90-day window within which ratepayers who settle their debts in full will enjoy a 50 percent discount.
Most residents are struggling to pay their municipal bills, with Harare now being owed $800 million by residents, Government and business.