Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent

REDCLIFF Municipality has proposed a US$11 million budget for year 2021 with consultations expected to commence this coming week to gather ratepayers’ views on the move.

Redcliff Mayor, Councilor Clayton Masiyatsva, confirmed the development saying although the budget was billed in US dollars, ratepayers were allowed to pay using local currency at the prevailing exchange rate. He said the council “simply retained” the initial value of the 2020 budget, which was pegged at ZWL$134 million before being eroded by inflation.

“We took the 2020 budget, which was billed in local currency and we converted to US dollars to avoid the effects of inflation, which had eroded the budget,” said Cllr Masiyatsva.

The local authority seeks to charge $3,40 for water for both low density and high-density areas while fixed water would be pegged at $1 across the board. Refuse collection is pegged at $1 for high density and $1,50 for low density while sewerage is pegged at $1,50 for high density and $2 for low density. The local authority also proposed public lighting charges for high density at 75 cents and $2 for low density while fire charges have been pegged at 25 cents across the board. Cllr Masiyatsva said Redcliff also seeks to solve water challenges that have been bedeviling the town for close to a decade.

“We intend to construct our own treatment plant, which we will use to treat water for our residents. Of course, we will be getting raw water from our sister local authority, Kwekwe, and treat for ourselves, which is cheaper than receiving treated water,” he said.

The local authority has been facing serious water challenges and had to rely on Kwekwe City for supplies. The relationship with the bigger city, however, has not been all rosy as Kwekwe would at times intermittently cut water supplies citing non-payment. Following the Government’s intervention, Redcliff has been receiving water non-stop albeit on a huge water bill to Kwekwe. Cllr Masiyatsva said the proposed water treatment plant, once complete, would ease the water challenges.