10 Nov, 2021 - 10:11 0 Views


Talent Gore, H-Metro Reporter

HARARE has unveiled a ZWL$42 billion budget aimed at addressing key service delivery issues and ensure that council provides sustainable service delivery as it moves towards attaining World Class City status.

Finance and Development Committee Chairperson Cllr Tichaona Mhetu said the total budget for 2022 is $41.873 billion; of the amount revenue contributes $31.506 billion and $10.367 as capital budget.

Cllr Tichaona Mhetu

Cllr Mhetu said the budget was skewed towards water and sanitation which takes up 43, 7 percent of the total budget of $10,3 billion.


He said a total of $2.324 billion was set aside for social services that include housing, education, social amenities, city health and the informal sector.


Water was allocated $4, 489 billion while $1,618 billion was set aside for governance and administration programmes, $1,250 billion was set for roads and public safety and security services was allocated $602, 197 million.


As of October 2021 council collected $8.788 billion and expects to collect another ZWL$2.610 billion before year end.


Harare City Council clinics and hospital fees will remain unchanged for the 2022 calendar year as a means to enable residents to access health, has said.

All council non performing business entities are expected to wind up operations by mid-2022 and City Council will blacklist all delinquent customers.


The budget is drawn under the theme, “Building Resilience: Towards Service Delivery.”


Adults were paying an equivalent of USD$5 as consultation fees while children were paying an equivalent of US$3 in the current year and the fees will remain the same for both clinic and hospital visits.


Maternity fees will remain an equivalent to US$25 in 2022.


“Hospital and clinic fees are substantively static in relation to 2021 in order to promote health by all,” said Cllr Mhetu.


He said council expected that government grants for drugs and related programs will cover the shortfall as well as contribution from property tax.


“We are aiming to build resilience because we were negatively affected by the shocks induced by the COVID-19 pandemic both in terms of our operations and in terms of our financial wealth,” he said.


“By building resilience for sustainable service delivery, we will be developing the launch pad for transformation of Harare into a Smart City by 2025.


Cllr Mhetu said allocations by the Zimbabwe National Road Authority (ZINARA) for road rehabilitation programmes in the City are not enough to carry out meaningful road works.


“This year we had targeted to rehabilitate 130km but we only did 15km, we had also targeted to maintain 400km but we only managed 297km,” Cllr Mhetu said.


“This sector relies heavily on the ZINARA funds and we have received $198.9million, out of an allocation of $483 million which is still inadequate given the capital-intensive nature of the works.


“The state of our roads remain deplorable. The poor performance of this programme is attributed to late disbursement of funds and price variations caused by distortions in the market.”


“We always request for more funds from ZINARA but ZINARA has not responded positively.”


Cllr Mhetu added: “Roads are to be funded through revenue from City Parking, endowment fees, billboards, gravel sales, Harare Quarry dividend and trenching fees.”


Cllr Mhetu said council would stop all revenue leakages, maximise revenue utilisation, and improve project management, efficient project implementation, employee’s motivation and productivity.


“The budget is anchored on Performance Improvement Plans (PIP) which is a shift from the traditional line item budgeting,” he said.


“The budgets were informed by National Development Strategy, Council Strategic plan targeting the outputs and outcomes prevailing fundamentals as well as submissions from budget consultations.”


Cllr Mhetu said water, sanitation and hygiene is at the core of service delivery.


Cllr Mhetu alluded that the presentation of the 2022 budget is taking place at a time when our country experienced negative economic shocks because of COVID 19 pandemic.


“The government has eased COVID-19 restrictions and as city, we need to take that opportunity and rebuild our capacity to deliver services to the residents of Harare,” he said.


“Council must learn from the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for such events in future so that the city will be well prepared and continue to provide services,”


“We also need to have contingency plans so that we are well placed to deal with potential future shocks.


“Our capacity to collect to collect what we bill was largely affected by the absence of an integrated resource planning system, the Covid-19 pandemic and inadequate service delivery.


He said these uncertainties require a new line of thinking in preparing for the future.


“The 2022 budget is prepared against a backdrop of continued uncertainties over the recovery of the global and domestic economies,” Cllr Mhetu said.


“There is therefore need for a new line of thinking borrowing largely from key deliverables of our strategic plan.


“In contextualising the 2022 budget, a scan of the global and domestic economic developments is critical in guiding assumptions and macroeconomic and fiscal projections.”


Council has also pegged its charges for 2022 against the prevailing interbank exchange rate.


Cllr Mhetu lauded President Mnangagwa for coming in handy in the implementation of council projects such as water and roads through the devolution funds.

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