By Innocent Ruwende
Harare City Council has extended its 50 percent discount promotion to ratepayers on amounts that they pay against their debt to November.
The promotion was supposed to run until October 23.
Council had provisionally extended it to October 31 before further extending it following a request by residents who want the promotion to run until December.
The promotion has benefited both residents and council in a development that has seen revenue inflows improve resulting in council managing to clear some of its salary backlog and channel more resources to service delivery.
Council collected $17 million in September, a feat, which has not been achieved during the past four years.
Council has so far collected $20 million this month. It has been collecting between $10 million and $12 million against potential monthly collections of $22 million.
Residents have since reduced their debts from $370 million to $336 million.
Harare corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme yesterday said council had acceded to pressure from residents.
“Our customers have been requesting that the 50 percent discount be extended to December 31 but we feel we have to extend it to November 30. Remember we made another extension from October 23 to 31,” he said.
“Our residents have complained through their residents associations principally Harare Residents Trust (HRT) and management has seen that residents have genuine reasons to ask for the extension, which we have acceded to.”
In its letter to the city, the HRT said it has consulted its membership widely and advised the city that residents required more time to pay their huge arrears.
Most residents are struggling to pay their municipal bills.
The Harare Residents Trust has previously urged the City of Harare to extend the promotion to December 31, 2018 so that it receives more from ratepayers who know their financial obligations, but are unable to pay in full the rates charged by the council. The Herald