Zimbabwe: Harare City Council to Spend U.S.$2.6 Million On ERP System

A view of Harare in Zimbabwe (file photo).

HARARE City Council (HCC) has tabled plans to gobble US$2,6 million in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems which is in line with meeting government set deadlines.

ERP is a software system used by councils to manage their operations and core business.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa last year introduced a service delivery blueprint titled 'A Call To Action - No Compromise On Service Delivery', which aims to modernise the operations of local authorities. The initiative includes improvement in various areas, notably the ERP.

Responding to revelations made by Local Government Minister Daniel Garwe to the effect that Harare was the only local authority lagging, HCC Tuesday moved to bring the initiative in motion.

Speaking to journalists at the Town House, the HCC finance committee chairperson Councilor Costa Mande said work to bring the initiative to life is currently underway.

"On the ERP system, the Local Government Ministry had said we have not yet complied with the Auditor's General recommendations to re-engage the previous ERP system. We have therefore done likewise, on April 30th, we had a special council meeting here where we resolved to engage the previous ERP system providers Quill Associates (Pty) Ltd, the implementers of BIQ.

"The total cost of our system is around US$2,6 million however, this is not a once-off payment, we are going to stagger it. These are reinstallation charges. For now, we will pay US$300 000 as an advance payment towards the work that they are doing. Thereafter, we will be paying them as they progress and add more modules," he said.

He said the company is already on site with updates on progress made so far indicating that out of the ten core modules in the system, notable progress has been made.

To maximize efficiency, the HCC will upgrade its systems and equipment as most of these were outdated in a development which will see the procurement of new computers and servers, upgrading and upscaling the operations of the system in the next quarter.

"By early August 2024, we should be operational, the general ledger, receipt, inventory, procurement payroll budgeting and bank reconciliation will be coming on board as we progress. The work will be done in stages with some modules being done concurrently.

"Our target is to make sure that by January 2025, we should be IPSAS compliant. As we go then we should be making sure that we are in sync with compliance requirements," said Mande.

Also speaking at the occasion, the HCC acting IT manager, William Mugobogobo underscored that the local authority has been operating on some ICT systems as opposed to the general public's speculation that there is no digital system in place.

"We do have an ERP system in place which has had some challenges but we are managing other areas such as accounts submission. As you know, the City of Harare handles a high volume of transactions which is often overwhelming," he said.

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