USD rates proposed for 2023 by Harare City Council are near to minimum wage

Edwin Chabuka Avatar

In a budget announcement done by Harare City Council Finance chairperson Councillor Costa Mande announced proposed USD council rates for 2023. The rates can still be paid in the RTGS equivalent at the prevailing interbank however they will be steep. Really close to the USD150 that the government announced as minimum wage.

The USD rates for Harare City council for 2023

High-Density SuburbMedium-Density SuburbLow-Density Suburb
Monthly rates fees starting atUS$23.15US$77.30US$113.30
Monthly water fees (first 5 cubic meters)US$5.15US$8.30US$8.30
Monthly refuse collection feesUS$8US$11US$11
Monthly sewer chargesUS$4US$6US$6
Total expected monthly council bill per householdUS$40.30US$102.60US$138.60

Granted in some suburbs some costs won’t be as high for example water in areas where council water is but a legend and sewer in areas where septic tanks are employed instead of sewer lines. But up to US$130 seems like it’s going to be a tough ask for a lot of home residents. This might also further raise rentals across the board which was already sky-high in Harare.

What’s also going to be the issue is that for a while now, service delivery has been close to non-existent, especially on refuse collection and the state of the roads. These same residents being asked to pay the council for these services are the same residents using their own resources to provide a solution for the disposal of refuse, water supply, and roads.

This will increase the rate of defaulters

It’s a shared thought amongst Harare residents that it seems unfair to pay for services that are not being delivered. And it’s also a bit of a chicken and egg situation because the council also states that they cannot deliver because rates are not being paid. In April of 2022, the City of Harare stated that it is owed to the tune of ZW$17 billion in unpaid rates, even threatening to convert those arrears to USD for residents that fail to make payment plans with them.

Council is owed in excess of $17 billion in local currency. The money is losing value daily as it remains resident with the residents. When residents make payment plans to settle their bills, they “should ensure they pay their current monthly bills in addition to agreed settlement amount”. Head Communications Mr Michael Chideme said failure to pay bills was affecting service delivery as the city was finding it difficult to procure necessary resources like garbage trucks, road equipment and other items needed to provide services to the people.

City Of Harare

If residents are failing to pay the current tariffs then it does not look good for the council in its effort to get every resident to be current with their bills. Maybe the few that are already current will somewhat offset the deficit from the many that are not paying. But if the service is not available it’s going to make it harder for residents to commit to payment.

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  1. Charles Munhumumwe

    It’s sad indeed. Why should I keep paying for services I’m not getting? Harare City council has got to be kidding us! Service delivery is way better in Masvingo compared to the capital. Clean safe water is available, bins get collected and the roads are also so much better.

  2. Anonymous

    Our salaries are in Zimbabwe dollars. The proposed rates are in US dollars. How is this going to work?

    1. Home Schooled.

      “The rates can still be paid in the RTGS equivalent at the prevailing interbank” clearly you missed this part

  3. 2434

    Chaos is created by zanu. When they zeroed everyone’s balances in 2018. which business can survive that. How do they provide services with no money. Further more the so called devolution funds are non existent. They interfere in council business both politically and physically. Just imagine you have to pay geoginix 40usd a load to dump waste at your own dump. Ministry of local govt orders.what do you expect city of harare to do. Fire truck tenders being forced into councils at double price by ministry. The list goes on and on.zanu squarely to blame

    1. Imi Vanhu Musadaro

      Since then, people don’t pay bills hoping for another debt write-off.

      They should focus on debt collection first, instead of essentially making those who are already paying foot the bill for those who aren’t. 17 billion is more than 17 million usd, even if ignoring that some of that debt was from gedye-gedye.

  4. Death Rates

    I think its time we were given the option to ‘Opt Out’ of all city services! I don’t even care if the logistics make sense! This is just becoming untenable