Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) yesterday proposed a $17.1 billion budget for the year 2021 with rates and general services expected to generate $2,7 billion.

In his presentation during a virtual budget consultative meeting, the council’s finance director, Mr Kimpton Ndimande, said of the proposed budget, the local authority’s revenue budget had been pegged at $7,1 billion while $10 billion would be directed to the capital budget.

“The 2021 budget has been proposed at $7,1 billion being revenue budget and $10 billion being capital budget giving us a total of $17,1 billion,” he said.

Mr Ndimande indicated that some of the core revenue sources for the upcoming budget were property tax $1,8 billion, water $1,7 billion, solid waste management ($796,4 million), sewerage ($894,5 million) and rentals ($513, 9 million).

The municipality, he said, has also proposed an income budget that includes rates and general services at $2,7 billion, water $1,8 billion, health $1,1 billion, sewerage $896,6 million and housing $126,7 million.

On budget support proposals, he said the council will review rent charges to match market rates, review unit charge as cost of water has gone up drastically and thus council needs to recover the cost. On the water provision side, the finance director said next year the local authority plans, among other activities, reservoir cleaning and pump replacement, and domestic water meter replacement.

“To improve health service delivery, BCC is looking at constructing a clinic in Cowdray Park, renovating clinics, purchasing various equipment for the health services department as well as improving refuse collection,” said Mr Ndimande.

Among other key priority areas, BCC intends to complete sewerage rehabilitation of pre-sale projects while also constructing new sewerage outfalls in areas such as Cowdray Park.

“We also want to continue with road construction premix overlays, road maintenance citywide as well as construction of new roads,” he said.

Mr Ndimande said this year BCC came up with a supplementary budget of $734,4 million following inflationary pressures.

“The rationale for the supplementary budget was premised on unstable exchange rate, inflation movement, movement in the prices of fuel, water chemicals and materials, among others,” he said.

Mr Ndimande said BCC expects improved macro-economic stability next year that will support development projects.

“We are hopeful that things will look up in this coming year. We have seen a bit of some stability in the interbank market, normal to above normal rainfall is expected this year, and also less loadshedding, and these things make us have a better year,” he said.

Responding to questions from the media, the Town Clerk Mr Christopher Dube said the supplementary budget comes into effect on November 1.

This year Government approved BCC’s budget of $2,8 billion where rates went up by a further 400 percent. — @okazunga