Michael Magoronga Midlands Bureau
Redcliff Municipality has received $7 million from Treasury as part payment of a $14 million debt owed to the local authority by Government, which it assumed from ZiscoSteel.
The debt was left behind by the now defunct steel company, ZiscoSteel, in rates to the local authority. Government assumed all Ziscosteel debts under the ZiscoSteel Debt Assumption Bill in 2017.
Redcliff Mayor Councillor Clayton Masiyatsva confirmed the local authority receiving part of its dues.
“This past week we received $7 million from Treasury as part of the debt we were owed by Zisco. As you know Government assumed the debt and we are grateful they have started paying,” said Clr Masiyatsva.
He said Government had assured them that the remaining balance would be paid before year end.
“We are hopeful that they will be able to pay the remaining balance by year end as they promised. The money had been long overdue and we are very grateful to Government for the gesture and showing commitment, “ said Clr Masiyatsva.
He said the money had boosted their coffers and the local authority has also paid an outstanding water debt to Kwekwe City Council.
“This was a timely boost which has boosted our coffers and enabled us to cover pressing issues. Just today, we have paid $1 million to Kwekwe City who are curre5supplying us with water. We hope to continue paying them until we clear the debt,” he said.
Redcliff, which has been relying on Kwekwe City for water supply since the closure of ZiscoSteel, has been failing to settle the water debt which is now hovering around $3,5million.
Clr Masiyatsva said they have also managed to pay outstanding workers’ salaries and bonuses.
“Using the money, we have also managed to clear some areas that we had in terms of salaries. We are hoping that by year end we would have cleared the outstanding balances. We have also managed timeously pay our workers bonuses,” he said.
The local authority has been dogged by viability challenges owing to reduced cash inflows.
“Since the closure of ZiscoSteel we have been facing cashing inflows challenges. But we have since recorded an improvement from slightly below 50 percent to the current 59 percent.
“So surely the money is expected to go a long way in covering one or two gaps that have been difficult for the local authority,” he said.