The Harare Council budget for 2023 was presented early this week and it stands at a staggering ZW$213.147 billion (US$347m at the official rate).
However, there are other numbers that matter for the embattled capital which are a foreboding for the new year’s service delivery prospects.
45% Revenue Collection Efficiency
The City has attained a record low revenue collection efficiency of 45% in 2022.
Authorities have since urged for comprehensive strategies, which are all encompassing.
They must be must be underpinned by tight cost cutting measures to address the cash-flow challenges being experienced.
32% Customer Satisfaction
Harare residents have not been happy for a long time. The last survey done revealed that customer satisfaction stands at a paltry 32%.
This was a factor for the poor revenue collection which also included absence of an enterprise resource platform and inadequate service delivery.
Budget Overrun By Over ZWL$20B
Total expenditures for 2022 amounted to ZWL 33.524 billion against a proportionate budget of ZWL31.404 billion, resulting in an expenditure overrun of ZWL2.119 billion.
Expenditure to year end is projected to reach ZWL55.821 billion attributed to major cost drivers namely salaries, electricity, fuel and water chemicals.
This means budget overrun will go beyond ZWL$20 billion.
Debt Balloons to ZWL$56 Billion
Harare debtors continue to grow monthly.
Debtors rose to ZWL 56.691 billion to 30 September 2022 from the 1 January position of ZWL 16.8billion.
Debtors disaggregation is as follows, commerce and industry 43.64%, domestic 35.56%, government, general 5.07%, sundry debtors 12.68% and dormitory towns 3.05 %.
Council continues to be saddled with the effects of a huge debtor’s book.
US$77 Million Debt To China
Council has an outstanding obligation to service China EXIM loan for Morton Jaffray Water Works refurbishment amounting to USD $77.05 million.
ZWL$3B Devolutions Funds Withheld
Devolution funds amounting to ZWL 165 million out of the budgetary allocation of 2,335 billion were received and utilised to partly to construct Crowborough sewerage ponds, aerated lagoon and Kuwadzana sewer line replacement.