Following the harm caused by the Covid 19 on public finances, many institutions across the country have since started to find creative way to raise capital, cut on unnecessary expenditure as well as chasing debtors.
For the cash strapped Gaborone City Council (GCC), it is reported that one of its first stops has been at its treasury which saw an ultimate ‘strengthening’ of the credit control unit.
GCC Mayor Father Maphongo told a full council meeting this week that in order to strengthen its credit control unit, the council has allocated more resources to it. The next move was then to capacitate officers who have since been deployed to the credit control unit.
“The objective of strengthening this unit is to ensure those owing Council are followed up and legal action taken against defaulters”, said Maphongo on Monday.
In the past, GCC had said that it has noted an influx of illegal outdoor advertising in recent years which resulted in loss of income as well as lawlessness in the advertising industry.
Given the trend, GCC Mayor – Father Maphongo has sent a strong warning to the companies that continue to be on the wrong side of the law.
“May I urge and encourage all those who developed illegal advertising structure to comply by removing them as advised on Public Notices, otherwise council will be removing all illegal structures and the owners will bear the removal costs”, said Maphongo in mid-2020.
Meanwhile fast forward to 2021, Maphongo says for the financial year 2021/22 the City Council has recorded a decline of 10.54 percent from the 2020/21 budget. The decline, Maphongo said, can be attributed to Covid-19 effects especially that the scourge has affected collection of revenue both at Central Government and Council level.
At the end of May 2021, the City Council’s recurrent expenditure which includes stock, stood at a total of P55, 151,990.21 which is 14 percent of the budget, while total collection stood at P74,802, 734.97 which is 19 percent of the budget.
The City council says it has made submissions to the Ministry of local Government and Rural Development on their constraint to conduct property rates as their rates valuation is outdated. The Covid pandemic has also made it necessary for the City Council to find other ways of financing development programmes and projects as it has become unsustainable for the council to rely on subventions from Government.