By Correspondent

Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume says residents should pay their rates and debts to Council if it is to provide adequate services.

In his 2022 end of year statement Mafume revealed that council is now owed over ZWL$82 billion.

“Our creditors stand at ZWL 9.092 Billion largely driven by electricity costs and water treatment chemicals.

“Our debtors are at ZWL 82.701billion and the list is as follows: domestic consumers are the biggest debtors, followed by industry, commercial and government,” he said.

Mafume added that, “all debtors must realise that there is a cost attached to doing business in an urban setting and as such must honour their obligations so that we can also provide basic services.

“While our problems are numerous, big and seemingly insurmountable, most of them have easy solutions.

“Revenue generation and optimum collection are the solutions,” he added.

Harare has also been seriously hampered by a poor revenue collection system.

To date it has collected ZWL48.781 billion against a potential of ZWL112 321 331 061.

Mafume said the variance is very huge, and it shows that they are not able to efficiently collect what they are billing.

“Our 2023 revenue budget is ZWL171,758billion.

“This means we must collect efficiently to be able to fund service delivery operations,” he said.

Another challenge for Council has been the long absence of an ERP system.

However the authorities expressed confidence that the issue will be dealt with next year.

According to the Mayor, they expect the Executive to have made strides in ensuring that the billing and receipting system is up to scratch by January.

Mafume added that in 2023 they will employ aggressive debt recovery strategies so as to channel more resources towards service delivery.

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