'No going back on prepaid water meters'

HARARE - Government is fully behind the installation of prepaid water meters, as the gadgets create the most viable revenue collection option, Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, said.

Speaking at the launch of the Harare City Council (HCC)’s Rapid Results project, Kasukuwere said a full-scale roll-out of the meters must go ahead, if the local authority is serious about revenue collection.

This comes as the HCC started a citywide water rationing programme a fortnight ago, which will see suburbs go for at least three days without the precious commodity.

Kasukuwere said once the meters are rolled out, residents will be assured of water supply, based on their payments.

“We have agreed as government that the prepaid metering system reduces the risk of overcharging residents, promotes timeous payments and results in efficient service delivery,” he said.

He added that the prepaid system promotes fairness and justice because residents are billed for actual use and not estimates.

Kasukuwere added that all government departments and companies owing the HCC must pay.

“No one is going to pay for someone else’s water consumption. Chemicals and other necessities need to be bought and if people do not pay, they will end up with poor service delivery, especially water,” he said.

HCC spokesperson, Michael Chideme, added that council will soon be installing bulk prepaid water meters for companies.

“The project was approved in the 2017 budget and it will be rolled out soon. We want to collect everything that is owed to us. If companies and government departments have arrears they should approach the city for a payment plan,” he said.

In June, council installed 3 000 meters in Bluffhill, the Avenues, Sunningdale, Kambuzuma, Greendale and Avondale on a pilot scheme.

Council hopes that once successfully installed, the prepaid water meters would reduce non-revenue water by 20 percent and increase revenue by about $21,6 million annually.

Comments (2)

These prepaid meters are of concern, ZESA is doing what they want with us, magetsi ari kufamba vakomana. There is a problem with these computer based meters, the programmers can just change the rate by just a click.

Zhara - 15 October 2016

All councils including ZNWA need to migrate to prepaid system as well. Its scary to receive a huge bill that one can not pay. Pre payment has worked for mobile telecomms companies, the power company so I strongly agree the same should be done with water. The fixed telephones company must also do the same. We need to embrace the system. We will just be paying for our water in advance instead of after using it.

Dyson Chivasa - 16 October 2016

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