THE Bulawayo City Council has advised ratepayers that it will now bill its services in United States dollars to escape inflation that has ravaged the local currency.
Council said payments in local currency had created serious problems such as failure to procure fuel and waste treatment chemicals, which were all charged in forex.
The official exchange rate is US$1:$361,90, while the black market rate is above US$1:$600.
In a notice to ratepayers yesterday, town clerk Christopher Dube said the prevailing economic conditions had forced the local authority to charge in forex to be able to continue providing services.
“The City of Bulawayo wishes to advise its valued stakeholders, residents and customers that due to prevailing economic conditions such as changes in the exchange rate, there have been substantial increases in the prices of key service delivery inputs namely fuel, water and waste treatment chemicals, medicines, stationary and spare parts among others,” Dube said.
“This has rendered the current council charges inadequate, thereby necessitating an urgent alignment of tariffs to input costs in order to alleviate service delivery collapse.”
Dube further advised residents that all council charges were translated to US dollars values with effect from the date of approval of the 2022 budget.
He said the new tariffs would be pegged at the prevailing exchange rate with effect from June 1.
“Residents and stakeholders are encouraged to contact council revenue offices for the updated charges on their properties,” Dube said.
Early this year, council announced a sharp increase in service charges that ranged from 150% to 626% following the approval of the local authority’s 2022 budget by central government.
The council had proposed a $24,7 billion budget before Local Government minister July Moyo cut it by $900 million.