Wednesday, February 24, 2021

GCC TO HIKE FEES IN BID TO IMPROVE REVENUE COLLECTION

The Gaborone City Council (GCC)’s revenue and profit margins are set to marginally increase as the local authority looks at revising some of its fees.

While he did not specify which fees will be revised, outgoing GCC mayor – Kagiso Thutlwe confirmed that a revision is on the cards.

Thutlwe said the revision is a necessity due to poor financial performance by the mother city council. Amongst other things, GCC and other local authorities in cities and towns rely on the central government funding as well as charging fees for services such as garbage collection.

At the moment, the GCC’s financial performance is reported to be so poor such that the authorities often are left with no option but to beg for supplementary funding from the parent ministry of Local government.

During the 2016/2017 financial year, GCC begged had to seek supplementary budget requested for as much as P8million.

When addressing a full council meeting this past week, Thutlwe listed amongst other things, “collections” as key contributor to the poor financial run by GCC.

“Issues of collection remain paramount moving forward. Our budget has grown from P401million in 2017/2018 to P440 million in the last two financial years. It is therefore necessary to review fees for all income streams since most fees are way too below the service provided by Council and also important to improve on our collection strategy.”

In its 2023 Strategy, GCC has made a commitment to improve on its revenue collection and also ensure that there is prudent financial management.

The outgoing mayor implored the incoming council members to ensure that GCC broadens its revenue base.

Over the recent years, Revenue collection has proved to be a major challenge for most local authorities across the country. Various councils have been urged by the central government to minimise the reliance from the central government funds by finding other ways to make money to finance their projects.

For GCC, various funding alternatives were provided for implementation of projects following the recession to ensure that most planned projects are implemented; thus Backlog eradication; Economic Stimulus Programme, Transport Levy, and Constituency Funding. In addition, lot of other projects were also funded through financial recurrent budgets.

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