Non-compliant rate payers are giving the Municipality of Beitbridge headaches as the local authorities grapple with low revenues in face of rising demand for service delivery.
When revenues are shrinking and targets are not being met, the headaches for a service provider keep multiplying.
The Beitbridge Municipality has moved a step further by naming and shaming rate defaulters as it presented its mid- term budget review.
The municipality’s budget stands at a total $6.1 million, but it has not been an easy road.
Council says ratepayers who include mainly high density residents and clearing agents are the major culprits in defaulting.
The mid-term budget review has therefore presented a gloomy picture of failure to meet targets said Finance Director Mr Anymore Mbedzi.
“The major culprits are the high density people and clearing agents. Clearing agents complicate our efforts in that they are of no fixed abode and most of them conduct their business on the streets. Yet their presence here means they are daily consumers of council services,” he said.
The municipality is also saddled with a $15 million ZINWA debt inherited through a 2013 government directive to write off debts back then.
There have been suggestions to engage Zimra also on clearing agents who are the major culprits among defaulters.
The total creditors’ bill stands at $17 million currently at Beitbridge Municipality.
This is weighed against a debtors’ bill of $2 million, all in the matrix of a rising population that has grown to over 50 000 residents.
The border town also serves an estimated 10 000 transit population on a daily basis.