Harare council spends $83 million on salaries

HARARE - Of the $145 million that Harare City Council (HCC) collected between January and September this year, more than 50 percent was channelled towards salaries while the remainder went to service delivery.

Presenting the city’s 2019 $472,2 million budget, finance committee chairperson Luckson Mukunguma said the salaries, service delivery ratio is against the ministry of Local Government stipulated 70:30 ratio were the chunk of municipal revenue is supposed to go to service delivery.

“The city collected $145 million from January 1 to September 30 against the expected budgeted amount of $202 million, thus realising a negative variance of $57 million. The $145 million collected was used to make the following payments; salaries and allowances — $83 million and service delivery $62 million,” Mukunguma said.

He said since introduction of the 50 percent discount offer to ratepayers, revenue collection increased from a monthly average of $13 million to $14,5 million in August, $17 million in September and $20 million in October.

Mukunguma highlighted that the increased revenue was used to scale up service delivery in roads, water treatment chemicals and payment of salaries.

The finance chairperson justified to the city fathers that salaries and allowances were within the city’s predictions.

“Your Worship, salaries and allowances are within projections. However general expenses which posted a huge positive variance of $60 million from the budgeted $99 million are a cause of concern as this impact negatively on service delivery. Constrained revenue inflows are a major impediment.

“It is projected that for the remainder of the year collections will amount to $187 million which will be used as follows; salaries and allowances $116 million, utility bills, $19,5 million, general expenses $49,5 million and capital charges $13 million,” he said.

According to the budget, Harare estimates its income to be $346,26 million up from $262 million last year while expenditure is projected at $346,23 million resulting in a $35 500 surplus for council.

The highest revenue streams will be rates at $104 million, Harare water at $100,8 million, operations at $55,2 million and refuse collection estimated at $27,08 million.

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