Call to extend discount period

HARARE - Harare residents are pleading with their municipality to extend a discount period, which allowed ratepayers to pay their debts to council at concessionary rates.

The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said while the initiative, which ended yesterday was welcome, it should be extended to December 31.

“HRT urges council to extend the promotion... so that more money is generated from ratepayers who know their financial obligations but are unable to pay in full... The 50 percent rates discount is recognition by council that the residents cannot pay in full their financial obligations.

“...our support for the 50 percent rates discount emanates from our recognition that payment of half the amounts indicated on monthly bills by ratepayers is the actual amount that should have been on the bills in the first place,” HRT said in a statement.

Currently, the city is owed $800 million by government, businesses and residents.

Last month alone, council collected $17 million — the highest amount collected inside one month in four years.

This is being attributed to the positive response the city fathers received from ratepayers who are taking advantage of the 50 percent discount to clear their debts.

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