Council states that outstanding rates by the end of the reporting period stood at E77 million; with miscellaneous debtors amounting to E2 million. The municipal council also notes that 179 building plans were approved in the 2021/22 financial year.
By Avite Mbabazi
The Municipal Council of Manzini reports that it has achieved its target of 76% in property rates collection in the financial year ended 31 March 2022.
This was confirmed in the 2021/22 annual report released by the Municipal Council. The revelations, according to the Municipal Council of Manzini, are part of their strategic objective to account to their stakeholders and are in line with the municipality’s good governance principles.
This year’s total rates collected during the year 2021/2022 amounted to E65 million, marking 76% of the collection target for the year. Furthermore, over 7 million in user fees were collected by the municipality. However, the municipality has noted challenges in collecting other user fees namely; bus rank service charges and road reserve user fees. Additionally, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a notable decline in the collection of street vending fees has been observed.
The target reached this year has been part of the Municipal Council of Manzini’s Revenue Collection Plan which is also referred to as the Revenue Enhancement Plan developed and introduced at the beginning of the reviewed year to direct the municipality on revenue collection.
This year’s improvement comes after concerns raised in the Municipal Council of Manzini’s 2020/21 annual report to improve rate collection in the country’s commercial hub. “There is an urgent need for improvement in rates collection in order to finance capital projects. Loans are available but the constraint still remains the funds for repayment” the report stated.
Meanwhile, outstanding rates by the end of the reporting period stood at E77 million; with miscellaneous debtors amounting to E2 million. The Municipality is said to have undertaken efforts to intensify rates collection during the following financial year; the target being the collection of at least 50% of the outstanding debts.
The Municipality was also able to approve 179 building plans in the year under review. “Monitoring of construction activities proceeded well throughout the reporting year and a total of 179 building plans were approved; with their combined value standing at E150 million” notes the report.