Victoria Falls Council crafts supplementary budget Victoria Falls City Council

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter
THE Victoria Falls City Council is crafting a supplementary budget following erosion of the 2022 budget by inflation despite raising rates by 68 percent starting this month.

The council started consulting stakeholders a few days ago seeking their views on the supplementary budget.

The local authority had budgeted $1,7 billion for 2022.

Last year in June council was forced to slash its budget by half after Government ordered the local authority to consult residents and come up with a supplementary budget following complaints by stakeholders that their views were not captured.

United States dollars

The Chronicle learnt that some ratepayers have proposed that the local authority should collect rates in United States dollars to protect revenue from inflation.

The council has not made a decision on whether to adopt the proposal.

Responding to emailed questions, the city council’s acting public relations officer Mr Mandla Dingani said rising inflation, fuel prices and electricity charges led to crafting of the supplementary budget.

“There is a litany of factors that necessitated the supplementary budget chief among them the rising inflation, fuel prices and an increase in electricity charges.

Fortunately for us the numbers have been quite fair at all the budget consultations and there seem to be a general consensus which is quite progressive,” he said.

Over the years, the council struggled to gather residents for budget meetings as many did not attend.

Mr Dingani said the local authority continues to urge residents to honour their obligations and pay bills to enable it to continue providing services.

The council is owed more than $500 million by consumers in unpaid bills and rates.

“The 2022 budget is $1,7 billion which is not enough to meet the expenses as it has been eroded by inflation.

Stakeholder engagement

We are in the consultative stage which will in turn inform our proposal after gathering input through stakeholder engagements.

It is crucial to note that council had reduced its 2021 budget tariffs by half until end of May 2022.

This month a 68 percent increase was effected and a 12 percent increase will be effected in July and another 12 percent in October,” explained Mr Dingani.

He said the staggering of the increases was meant to absorb inflationary shocks but this has not worked because prices of goods and services went up by higher margins.

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