Harare City Council is set to charge its rates in US$ in a move partly aimed at providing funding for the payment of workers’ salaries in the same currency.
This was revealed by the Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume during the presentation of the State of the City Address (SOCA).
Mafume said workers’ salaries had been eroded by inflation and they were now demanding that they be paid in US$.
“Salaries for employees have been paid on time for the months of January to June 2022.
“We appreciate that the salaries have since been eroded by inflation and measures are being put in place to cushion our workforce.
“The employees are now demanding salaries in USD and the only way to raise the money is to charge some of the demand driven services in foreign currency.
“The precedence was set by government as civil servants are given part salary in USD,” he said.
Council has been struggling to pay salaries for its workers for some time now.
It has been reported that it uses nearly half of its revenue to pay wages, a scenario which isn’t commensurate with best practices.
Council has also been negatively affected by the payment of salaries for over 40 top and middle management employees, in addition to a host of junior employees, who are on suspension for various reasons, with some having court cases pending for corrupt activities.
The posts left by those on suspension have since been filled on a temporary basis by others resulting in the double payment of salaries for positions.
Early this month Council revealed that it was incapacitated to settle a US$1,5 million bill for services rendered at the Pomona waste management energy plant, which is currently under the care of Netherlands based Geogenix BV.
However, the initiative to make residents pay rates in US$ is likely to face stiff resistance as many of those in the formal sector still get their salaries in the local currency.