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Govt gazettes Harare’s new burial, water charges

By VANESSA GUZHA LOCAL Government minister July Moyo yesterday gazetted new fees for burial space in Harare while also announcing a massive hike in water charges and refuse collection fees for the capital. The latest increases, coming at a time businesses and residents have been clamouring for a 50% slash in municipal rates owing to depleted incomes because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, will weigh down heavily on the capital’s estimated three million inhabitants, who are already failing to access adequate services including potable water. Residents in high-density areas will now pay $115 per cubic meter for the first 5m3,  up from $100, and thereafter as much as $200 per cubic meter for more than 20m3 of water consumed. Residents in low-density areas will now be expected to pay $153 per cubic meter for the first 5m3,  and thereafter as much as $210 per cubic meter. Non-residential properties, including hotels and restaurants, will pay $200 for the first 50m3 and $180 in excess of 50m3, subject to a minimum monthly charge of $10 000. Schools will be classified as domestic consumers. On cemeteries, Moyo approved that it would now cost at least $14 300 to bury an adult and $6 945 for children in the city’s Area A+ while for Area A, adults will pay $8 170 with children paying $4 085. For Area B, adults will get their burial space for $6 130, while children will get theirs for $ 3 270. “It is hereby notified that the Minister of Local Government and Public Works has, in terms of section 229 of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15], as read with section 33 of the Cemeteries Act [Chapter 5:04], approved the following regulations made in terms of section 12 of the Cemeteries Act [Chapter 5:04], by the City Council of Harare, in its capacity as trustee of Harare Cemeteries,” the gazette read in part. Non-residents will be made to fork out $8 170 an adult and $4 085 a child for burial space under the approved charges. Cremations for adult resident Hindus will cost $8 170, and for non-Hindus $12 255, while non-resident Hindus will pay $12 255 and non-resident non-Hindus will fork out $16 340. For the cremation of foreigners, it will cost $28 595. The minister also approved new fees for the reservation of a grave site and for the burial of ashes or a body in a grave in area A or B or A+ effective January 1, 2021. It will cost $2 045 for the disposal of ashes by scattering in Area A, B or A+. Under the Harare (Incorporated and Local Government Areas) (Waste Management) (Amendment) By-laws, 2021 (No 28), Moyo approved by-laws that would seek a hike in refuse collection fees to $565, up from $28 for high-density and $803 from $42 for low-density areas. “It is hereby notified that the Minister of Local Government and Public Works has, in terms of section 229 of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15], approved the following by-laws made by the City Council of Harare,” the notice read in part. It will take at least $1 632 for commercial refuse collection per week under the new fees structure approved by the minister. “For t

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