Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Midlands Bureau
KWEKWE City Council, which is struggling to recover over $37 million owed by residents and companies, hopes to increase revenue collection through pre-paid water meters.
Kwekwe Mayor Matenda Madzoke said the financially hamstrung local authority was going ahead with the pre-paid meter programme despite resistance by residents.
“We are confident that the pre-paid water system will result in the decrease of the bill owed to us by the residents and companies.
“We will install the prepaid meters because they are the only solution whether residents want them or not.
“The system will help in making sure that water is conserved and will obviously improve revenue collection,” he said.
The council launched a pilot project on pre-paid water meters early this year and four companies — Hukoshwa, Utility systems, Trico Investments and Sidal Engineering were engaged to install 300 pre-paid meters on 300 houses.
About 225 houses have been installed so far.
According to council, the ongoing exercise is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
“The pilot process is set to be completed by the end of the year if no major challenges are faced and from there the real installation will commence,” he said.
Most Zimbabwean cities have resorted to installation of pre-paid water meters in a move meant to control water consumption and improve revenue collection.
Mr Madzoke said the defunct Ziscosteel firm alone owes the municipality more than $15 million.
“Ziscosteel owes us $15 million and we are struggling to recover the money,” he said.
Redcliff municipality also owes the local authority more than $2 million.