Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has admitted that its ineptitude is contributing to declining service delivery due to the local authority’s failure to implement the city’s by-laws and collect revenue.
Council, which has been blamed for not coming up with innovative ways of collecting revenue, is owed nearly $1 billion by ratepayers.
The city is recording constant sewer bursts while heaps of uncollected garbage has become the order of the day. The council seems to have given up on vendors who are now crowding most of the city’s streets. The local authourity has blamed failure to effectively deliver services on ballooning unpaid rates and service charges.
In the latest council report on the city’s income and expenditure, city fathers and senior managers have admitted that the local authority seems to be out of depth and has no zeal in addressing service delivery related issues due to its failure to collect revenues.
According to the report, Ward Four councillor Silas Chigora said the local authority seemed disinterested in revenue collection.
“Councillor S Chigora was of the view that council had lost zeal to collect revenue. He said that big trucks carrying heavy or abnormal loads had been the order of the day in the central business district. There was a need to enforce the by-laws and those who defied the law should be brought to book,” read the report.
Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube in the report is said to have observed that BCC’s failure to enforce by-laws was damaging the city’s roads.
“The Town Clerk advised that in order to renovate the infrastructure, there was need to enforce the by-laws and collect revenue. He concurred that big trucks were destroying the roads. It had been agreed that the by-laws be enforced and offenders be arrested.
“He recalled that heavy fuel tankers used to decant fuel at depots and small trucks would distribute the fuel to filling stations. However, the tankers now decanted fuel direct at filling stations and are destroying the roads in the process,” reads the report.
Mr Dube also said council should engage the Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) before awarding a tender to an organisation to run the city’s parking business.
Deputy Mayor councillor Mlandu Ncube said vendors and bus operators were being allowed to illegally operate with council not taking any action.
He said it was an expense for council to pay its workers who manned and cleaned bus termini without any revenue generation.
Clr Ncube suggested that structures which were Covid- 19 compliant should be built so as to continue collecting revenue.
He also noted that buses were using undesignated areas as pick up and drop off points and benefitting from the services at no cost and said there was an urgent need to put measures in place to enable council to collect revenue from buses.
Clr Ncube said people were selling their products everywhere without even observing the Covid-19 regulations. He said councillors should assist the Financial Services Department to improve on revenue collection.
The local authority has since tasked the Town Planning Department to look into the issue of violation and enforcement of the council’s by-laws. – @nqotshili