Harare City Council’s supplementary budget is meant to strengthen service delivery especially in the water and sanitation sector, Chairperson of Finance and Development Committee Councillor Luckson Mukunguma has said.
Presenting the 2019 supplementary budget speech Councillor Mukunguma said the $829 million budget is not only working in line with modernisation and transformative agenda but will also prioritise Information Communication Technology.
“The supplementary budget will prioritise strengthening of service delivery in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Sectors in terms of planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that we remain on track in attaining planned measurable results that are aligned to our 2019 targets and objectives.”, he said.
“It is important for Harare to lead in terms of computerisation and automation of services therefore we expect our residents to be able to receive information about Council on the click of a button hence the major focus on investing in Information, Communication Technology.”
Cllr Mukunguma explained the reasons behind council’s decision to introduce a new ERP, SAGE EVOLUTION.
“We were switched off from BIQ on 22 March 2019 after a misunderstanding with the service provider. I am happy we successfully migrated to a new ERP SAGE EVOLUTION that is going to assist the City in billing ratepayers timeously and improve collections which had dwindled since this unfortunate event.”, he said.
He said the work done by council and its partners which culminated in the opening of Tariro Clinic and Youth Centre brings hope in the midst of the various challenges that people are facing hence the budget’s theme: TRANSFORMATIVE BUDGET: RESTORING HOPE.
Cllr Mukunguma said the 2019 revenue and capital estimates announced during the multi-currency regime was denominated in USD.
“It will be recalled that government departed from its long standing position that the exchange rates between the USD and Bond-RTGS is one is to one. The volatility of the exchange rate now at RTGS$ 8.68 to US$1 on the formal market as at 10 July 2019 means that Council will be forking out more than 8 times more than budgeted.”
“The effect is that Councils budget is now underfunded by a very huge percentage as at the prevailing exchange rate of the day. Given the prevailing economic environment, the local authority was left with two options, to increase tariffs or go for a supplementary budget”, said Cllr Mukunguma.
He said in terms of tariffs, council has only ensured that there is cost recovery.