The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: New Rate and Tariffs Regime in Beitbridge

Beitbridge Rural District Council has increased rates and tariffs by five percent after adopting a US$2,5 million budget for 2013. The budget would result in 41 percent of the money being spent on servicing residential stands at Lutumba service centre and the rehabilitation of roads, boreholes and construction of schools and community halls.

Council chief executive Mr Albert Mbedzi said in an interview on Wednesday that they were expecting to get a recurrent expenditure of US$1,4 million, while staff salaries would constitute 24 percent (US$600 600).

He said the budget had been sent to Local Government, Rural and Urban Development Minister Ignatius Chombo for approval.

"The total budgeted expenditure for the year 2013 is US$2, 498, 544 while the total expected income is US$2 535 423, giving us a surplus of US$36 879," said Mr Mbedzi.

"We also expect to spend US$589 660 towards servicing 400 stands at Lutumba business centre, roads and bridges, borehole rehabilitation, buildings (halls, clinics, schools), disbursement of CAMPFIRE funds, purchase a tractor, furniture and equipment and repairs and maintenance."

Mr Mbedzi said local revenue was expected mainly from unit tax from farms, levies, fees and rates.

"As we prepared the 2013 budget estimates, it has been expedient that the process be well anchored in an endeavour to mitigate against predictable challenges and map an energetically way forward for our council. The budget focused mainly on sustainable development issues which are in line with our millennium development goals and the council's five-year strategic plan."

Mr Mbedzi said in coming up with the budget, the council gave priority to carrying forward the 2012 unfinished projects.

New projects, he said, were also included after a wide consultation with the local leadership and other stakeholders from all wards.

Mr Mbedzi said the local authority was facing serious challenges in collecting development levies from households with most of the villagers resisting payment. He said they had engaged traditional and political leaders to resolve the issue.

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