BCC in “dilemma” over foreign currency charges

Bulawayo City Council (BCC), today conducted a Municipal Financial Performance Review meeting at the Large City Hall. The meeting was aimed at formulating survival strategies in the context of the country’s deteriorating economy and to determine the transactional currency for council bill payments.

Bulawayo City Council (BCC), today conducted a Municipal Financial Performance Review meeting at the Large City Hall. The meeting was aimed at formulating survival strategies in the context of the country’s deteriorating economy and to determine the transactional currency for council bill payments.

Present for the meeting were captains of industry, BCC Technocrats, Bulawayo Councillors, three members of the National Assembly representing Nkulumane, Luveve, and Bulawayo East Constituency, a senator, Residents Associations and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs). The following issues were highlighted during the meeting:

  • Service providers now charge their prices in foreign currency, but the City Council has no access to foreign currency.
  • The 2019 BCC budget has not yet been approved by the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development.
  • In 2010, a Harare based company defrauded the City Council through failure to deliver ambulances purchased by the city. Litigation has since taken course as the matter is pending trial in the Civil Court.
  • Due to lack of foreign currency, the road infrastructure remains dilapidated as council is unable to procure necessary inputs to repair these rundown roads.
  • Results from a 2018 survey conducted by the Municipality revealed that 80% of people who live in the city are tenants whilst 20% are homeowners.
  • The Bulawayo City Council disclosed that it does not have title deeds for the City Hall and the Tower Block buildings.
  • The recent hike in fuel prices has been a hard-hitting blow as the Municipality requires a total of 80000 litres of petrol and 50000 litres of diesel every month, this has resulted in a sluggish response to repair burst sewer and water pipes.
  • Members of Parliament urged the Municipality to incentivise rate payers who choose to pay their bills in foreign currency.

Source: Women’s Institute for Leadership Development