Harare City Council is set to sell three of its properties, commercial and industrial stands through public tender in a bid to raise over $20 million in the next 30 days. Harare is struggling to pay workers’ salaries and provide basic services owing to low revenue and recently it announced that it would set aside $275 000 daily towards salaries in a bid to reduce arrears of six months. However, workers’ unions say the amount is not enough. The finance and development committee resolved at its meeting last Friday to sell various pieces of land
Harare’s acting corporate communications manager Mr Michael Chideme said the majority of the commercial, industrial and church stands were on lease by various individuals and church organisations. “A total of 27 industrial stands are available in Glen Norah, one in Graniteside and another in Park Meadowlands. “There are seven church stands in Budiriro,” read part of the minutes. “Council approves the sale of industrial and commercial stands on lease to respective tenants.” The city is also selling three properties along Luck Street and several open spaces for residential development in Mt Pleasant along Harare Drive, Marlborough, Greendale, Helensvale, Prospect and Quinnington suburbs.
The city is paying salaries for December last year, for some grades, while other workers are getting their January salaries. Acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube says the city management has put in place strategies to accelerate revenue collection in order to close the salary gap. According to recent minutes of the finance and development committee, former finance director Mr Justin Mandizha said the prevailing economic challenges had affected most Harare residents and corresponding revenue inflows.
Aggregated income and expenditure summary for January to March this year indicated a surplus of $22 million although the city’s debtors were reported at $387,4 million, while creditors stood at $394,1 million as at March 31, 2016. The city owes CABS and BancABC $27,2 million as at March 31, 2016. Concerned with the state of the city’s finances, councillors have urged officials to implement drastic measures on revenue collection. Mrs Ncube said emphasis was being put on revenue collection and heads of departments were putting together various strategies to ensure success in this regard.