Harare City Council (HCC) has proposed the introduction of a 20% infrastructure development tax as it seeks to clean up the Central Business District (CBD) whilst aged and now ugly buildings will be demolished.
It’s not yet clear how the tax will be collected.
Speaking at the recently held State of City Address (SOCA) at the Town House, Harare City Mayor Cllr Herbert Gomba said the fee would be used to spruce up the CBD which is now in a bad state.
“We are proposing a 20% infrastructure development tax which will give the city money dedicated to nothing but infrastructure development”.
“All its collections will be spent on infrastructure.
“Property developers may also pay for the infrastructure that is needed to connect their new development to existing infrastructure in the form of development charges and value capture”, he said.
Gomba added that now ugly buildings would also be demolished.
“Teams will be set by the Town Clerk to inspect all buildings in the CBD and those found wanting will be closed in line with our urban renewal agenda.
“We are serving an average of 50 abatement orders per month and this should increase to make sure that we inspect all of the buildings in the CBD.
“We expect all property owners in Harare to do the same and this programme will also be decentralized to suburbs so that they can do the same to complement the efforts in the CBD,” he said.
The Mayor said Council aimed to leverage on the 20% tax to access loans for more infrastructure development, modernization of roads and implementation of modern traffic management systems.
All this is supposedly in line the Harare’s smart city agenda.
Most of Harare’s building were built a long time ago and have resultantly seen better days with next to no renovations or rehabilitation taking place.
This Council says is impacting the chances of the City to attract foreign investments.