Sukoluhle Ndlovu Midlands Correspondent
Gweru City Council is planning to install 10 000 smart water meters as it moves to recover over $57 million that it is owed by companies and residents.
Speaking during a peer service level benchmark meeting, council director of engineering services Engineer Robson Manatsa said more than 60 percent of Gweru residents and companies owe council over $200 and are not paying.
“As City of Gweru, we are planning to install 10 000 smart water meters and we are almost ready to go to tender.
“We are still finalising with the finance department,” he said.
Eng Manatsa said the council’s inability to disconnect water supply for defaulters cost the council a huge chunk of revenue as there were no robust enforcement measures.
“Last year, we did not disconnect water for defaulters due to typhoid outbreak and because of that, we lost a lot of money.
“So, the installation of prepaid meters will help us recover some of the money we lost,” he said.
Eng Manatsa said the council has since resumed water disconnection over non-payment of rates.
“This year we resumed disconnection of water to residents and companies that are not paying their rates as a robust measure of recovering our money,” he said.
He said the municipality has tendered for a water pump to increase its water pumping capacity.
“As a way of increasing water supply capacity, we have planned to procure and install a new water pump at Gwenhoro,” said Eng Manatsa.
“We have awarded the tender, signed a contract and delivery is expected after three months.”
Last year, the local authority said it needed about $10 million for the supply and installation of prepaid water meters.
Eng Manatsa said the council was set to receive two refuse compactors, which it recently purchased.