Yeukai Karengezeka and Sallomy Matare
Harare City Council has increased charges for clamping and towing of vehicles by over 1 000 percent in its $829,86 million supplementary budget that was approved yesterday.
The budget that slightly increased water and sanitation service charges, will see motorists paying $500 for wheel-clamping fees for light vehicles, up from $40.
Tow-away fees have been increased from $60 to $700.
In the health sector, the city is expecting to realise $14,6 million, with maternity fees increased from $25 to $120.
Hospital fees are now $50 for adults and $25 for children.
Presenting the budget, chairman of the financial and development committee Councillor Luckson Mukunguma said the new tariffs were triggered by the prevailing economic situation.
“The current supplementary budget should not be viewed as an attempt by council to increase tariffs, it is rather an attempt to align to the new economic order given the full implementation of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme and the introduction of local currency as the only legal tender,” he said.
According to Clr Mukunguma, the city is expecting to collect much of the revenue from water which has the highest estimate of $303,2 million followed by domestic and industrial property tax at $179,9 million.
The city expects to get $101,1 million from the Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (ZINARA) and billboards.
In the waste management sector, council expects to realise $68 million as it increased refuse collection fees by almost 300 percent.
For high-density areas, monthly charges have increased from $6,50 to $19,50 and in low-density areas $28,50 from $9,50.
Water charges were similarly increased by at least 300 percent for residential areas.
For high-density areas, 20 cubic metres now cost $4,20 from $1,20 whereas, the same volume now costs $5,20 from $1,50 in low-density suburbs.
Prepaid water charges also increased from $1,20 to $3,50, fixed charges for industrial water increased from $50 to $100.
Acting Mayor Cllr Ian Makone said delays in implementing the new budget would end up compromising targted results.
“Any delays will be subject to the state of the economy, let us hope that we will not find ourselves in another supplementary budget,” he said.