Mutare freezes rate hikes

MUTARE - The Mutare City Council has frozen rates and tariff increases for next year, but employees will bear the brunt of the revenue shortfall.

The city has unveiled an $18 million 2013 budget which will see residents enjoying a holiday in terms of rate increases.

Council workers, however, will not get any salary increase as a result.

Tatenda Nhamarare, the city’s finance committee chairperson, said the employees through their representatives had continued to agitate for salaries equivalent to the bread basket for a family of six which was pegged at just over $550 as of last month.

“However, the Mutare City Council cannot sustain the same,” said Nhamarare.

He said council’s employment costs are estimated at 38 percent of the recurrent budget compared to 46 percent of the 2012 budget.

Council is targeting to lower the employment costs further to channel more resources towards service delivery.

Nhamarare said the 2012 budget of $16,2 million was likely to rise to $16,67 million.

He said the increase in inflows was a result of revenue collection enhancement programmes implemented by council.

He said council’s capacity to deliver services largely depended on the capital assets at council’s disposal.

“As you are aware, council does not have adequate capital equipment to this effect. Operations have largely depended on human labour force resulting in adversely affecting the salary threshold ratio.” - Sydney Saize

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