Byo council gets tougher over govt arrears

BULAWAYO - The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) says it will take stringent measures to recover over $1 million it is owed by both government and parents in unpaid tuition fees and levies for the third term of  2013 at council schools.

Councillors said contract forms compelling parents and government to pay up fees before schools open should be introduced to ensure that council schools get money due to them.

According to the latest council report of the Health, Housing and Education committee report, parents owe council $573 422 in unpaid fees and $421 526 in levies for last year’s third term.

Government owes the council $35 617 and $27 606 towards unpaid fees for underprivileged children under its Basic Education Assistance Module (Beam) and School Development Association (SDA) levies respectively.

The government debt to the Bulawayo City Council is set to further increase as the ministry of Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare was only allocated $15 million against $73 million it had requested from Treasury for this year.

“The Director of Housing and Community Services reported to the Health, Housing and Education Committee that the academic year 2013 drew to a close with the section having faced some challenges in the collection of tuition fees and levies.

“It was perhaps time Council reconsidered the issue of contract forms that compelled parents to pay fees for their children on or before schools open. Failure to do so would result in legal action being taken against such parents as per statutes. At the moment, this was difficult as parents had no contracts that they sign to ensure they stick to their promises,” the Health, Housing and Education Committee report reads.

Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo and councillors supported the introduction of the contract form as necessary to ensure council gets paid for offering education.

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