Harare City Council (HCC) has proposed to increase the water tariff by an estimated 19 percent while also raising clamping, tow-away and storage charges by 100 percent.
Presenting the 2019 budget yesterday, finance and development committee chairperson Luckson Mukunguma said the country’s economic environment was volatile and made it difficult for the city to make important assumptions pertaining to service delivery.
The 2019 budget has shot up by more than 100 percent from $269,3 million (2018) to $472,2 million which was presented yesterday.
“Therefore the proposed increase in the water tariff is expected to improve cost recovery and reduce dependence on the other accounts and ensure sustainability. For high density areas 1-10 cubic metres (m3) existing charge is 70 cents, proposed is 83 cents.
“For 11 to 20 cm this will go up from 80 cents to 93 cents while water more than 20m3 will be $1,20 up from $1.
“Low density areas will be charged 95 cents for water charged between 1 and 10m3 up from 80 cents. Water used between 11 and 20 m3 will be $1,30 up from $1,20 and above 20m3 it will remain at $1,50,” Mukunguma said.
He added that bulk water supply will be 83 cents up from 70 cents, while industrial will be $1,43 up from $1,20 and water above 100 m3 will cost $1,70 up from $1,50.
The finance chairperson said the slight tariff increase was modest as it took into account the need to be able to sustainably provide potable water to the residents and stakeholders in Harare.
“Your Worship, the justification for water tariff increase has been a drastic increase in cost of inputs namely chemicals, cost of repairs and maintenance, capital charges on borrowed funds for capital works and other operational expenses,” he said.
Mukunguma emphasised that because of the lawlessness that was going on in the Central Business District, council would punitively raise clamping, tow-away and storage charges by 100 percent.
Currently, clamping fees are $56 for light vehicles and $80 for kombis, storage is $12 per day and tow-away fees are $112 for light vehicles and $132 for kombis.
All other services remained unchanged with Mukunguma citing that fees could be raised or reduced depending on the prevailing economic environment.
Mayor Herbert Gomba okayed the budget stating that for the city to achieve its world-class city status some adjustments had to be made in both the employees and residents’ mindsets.
“We want to transform the city into a modern place that is appealing to its own residents and investors. We also want to make Harare easier for the next council to achieve a smart city that has modern infrastructure and functioning facilities and services,” Gomba said.