Harare rates to go up 2000%

Augustine Mukaro



THE Harare Commission will soon unveil a colossal 2007 budget with a projected average increase of 2 000% in rates and water charges for residents begin

ning next year.


However, the budget faces stiff resistance from residents who have already started mobilising for street demonstrations against the commission if the budget is approved without their consent as happened with the current one.


The 2006 budget of $33 trillion was foisted on residents despite their overwhelming objections.


Sources in the council’s city treasury department said formulation figures show that next year’s budget is likely to be twenty-fold last year’s budget considering the ever rising prices of goods owing to galloping inflation in the country.


“We have finished the formulation process and the proposals would be tabled before a full commission anytime soon,” the source said. “Proposed figures show that it’s a huge budget mainly due to expenses required to finance the turnaround programme as well as increases in prices of raw materials and commodities needed to improve service delivery,” the source said.


In November last year Harare unbundled the city’s operations, transforming city departments into 12 autonomous business utilities. The units are owned by council and run along commercial lines. The plan allows business utilities to enter joint ventures and smart partnerships, technological transfers and strategies alliances with the private sector where necessary.


The Reserve Bank had promised to provide $1,2 trillion (old currency) to council to finance the unbundling process but froze the facility after council failed to provide financially sound projects.