Government approves Victoria Falls 2023 budget
Leonard Ncube, Online Reporter
GOVERNMENT has approved Victoria Falls City Council’s 2023 budget of $13 billion but expressed concern on a number of grey areas the local authority needs to urgently address.
In a letter to the local authority, the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works was concerned about drastically low revenue collection efficiency by the Victoria Falls City Council which is owed more than $500 000 million in unpaid bills and rates.
The Ministry encouraged the local authority management and councillors to learn from Mutare City which had successfully implemented the Local Authority Digital Systems (LADS) which helps improve revenue collection and reduce corruption.
The letter dated 18 January 2023 was read at the full council meeting in the boardroom this afternoon.
“I wish to inform you that the honourable Minister (July Moyo) has approved your 2023 budget but with the following observations and comments. Council is urged to make frantic efforts in recovering debts to ensure better service delivery,” read the letter.
It went on to state that: “Victoria Falls is urged to raise its collection efficiency from the current 47.7 percent; Victoria Falls City to clear its salary arrears; the local authority to seek assistance from city of Mutare in the implementation of Local Authority Digital Systems (LADS).”
The Ministry also advised the council to clear its statutory obligations to avoid its accounts being garnished and to finalise its valuation roll by the first quarter of 2023.
Government said council special levies are to be based on the valuation roll.
Local authorities are expected to have a collection efficiency of 67 percent to break even and have quality service delivery.
Commenting on the budget letter, Town Clerk Mr Ronne Dube said the local authority will soon be embarking on a valuation exercise and expects cooperation from stakeholders.
Councillors called for implementation of strategies to improve revenue collection.-@ncubeleon