Bulawayo City Council may auction 9 000 properties over unpaid debts


BULAWAYO – The Bulawayo City Council (BCC) is facing a serious debt crisis as it is owed $256,9 billion by its customers, mainly residents, industry and government departments. 

Bulawayo City Council takes legal action over unpaid debts
Image: Daily News

The local authority has handed over 9,000 properties to its legal section since January for failing to pay their bills. 

If the property owners do not settle their arrears, BCC has the right to take legal action against them, which could result in the auctioning of their properties.

BCC has also started a water disconnection programme since last month as part of its debt recovery strategies. Most of the money is owed in property taxes and service fees by consumers.

According to the latest council report, BCC only collected $107,4 billion from January to September 2023, which is 33 percent of the total billed income of $329,7 billion. 

The report attributed the low collection efficiency to the impact of exchange rate changes and resource constraints in the debt management unit.

“The low collection efficiency was as a result of the impact of exchange rate changes in the ZWL (rebasing) causing timing differences in the payment of bills by customers. 

“It was also overtime attributed to resource constraints in the debt management unit. The debtors figure as at the end of September 2023 was $256,9 billion. At the end of August 2023, the debtors stood at $217,1 billion indicating an increase of $39 Billion or an 18 percent increase in the debt,” reads the report.

The report also revealed that Pumula suburb had the highest number of properties handed over to the legal section with 2 448, followed by Tshabalala with 1 587 and Mzilikazi with 1 573.

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