Brighton Gumbo Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC)’s debt increased by three percent to $117.4 million as at the end of November 30, 2015 as council continues to acquire goods and services on credit.
In October 2015, the local authority’s indebtedness to various creditors stood at $113.2 million.
According to the latest council minutes, the increase was due to the BCC’s continued trend of acquiring goods and services on credit while there was a backlog in payments for services received.
The BCC owes government bodies such as the National Social Security Authority (NSSA), Municipal Provident Fund and the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund close to $44 million.
Other creditors include parastatals such as TelOne and Zesa which are owed over $59 million.
“The creditors balance for the month (October) increased from $113,192,627 to $117,391,034 (November) as council continues to acquire goods and services on credit while there is a backlog in payments for services received,” reads part of the latest council minutes. Banks and trade creditors during the month of November were owed $2,7 million and $2,1 million respectively.
During the month of November, BCC’s total arrears were $9.7 million while payments made to creditors stood at $6 million.
The minutes further show that the council owes employees over $7 million in outstanding salaries and allowances.
During the period under review, council made cash collections of about $65 million which was a seven percent decline compared to $70 million received during the comparable period the previous year.
On the other hand, the BCC is owed $117.8 million by service debtors who include the government, domestic, industrial and commercial entities.
Domestic debtors lead the pack owing $66 million followed by industrial and commercial debtors who owe about $48 million.
The government debt stood at about $4 million largely attributed to non-payment of accounts by some government departments.
The BCC has proposed a $154 million flat budget for this year, which the government is yet to approve.