By Sukuoluhle Ndlovu
Masvingo – Residents are in support of the introduction of pre-paid water meters in the city following the hike of water bills.
Through the prepaid water meters residents will only pay for the water they have used. Water woes have mounted in Masvingo with some residential areas going for days or weeks without water but still incurring a high water bill at the end of the month.
This came out in a dialogue that was facilitated by Masvingo Service Delivery Residents and Ratepayers Association where residents had been invited to share their views on the introduction of pre-paid water meters by Masvingo City Council.
In an interview with Bustop TV one resident, Tatenda Dzowa said pre-paid water meters will help increase service provision.
“The issue of introduction of pre-paid water meters is a great idea as it will increase service provision in the City. People will pay for the water they will have used rather than pay for water billed through estimations. The councils revenue collection will also increase and the system of water cuts might also be reduced. The Council at times does not take readings but deal with estimations.
Just like electricity, we are now paying for the electricity we use so the same should be done with water. We cannot continue paying for water we do not use,” said Dzowa.
Hazvinei Mudavanhu said the introduction of pre-paid meters will help not only residents but the council to clear debts.
“The prepaid on the side of both the residents and council will help get rid or reduce debt which means that water provision will be improved on the consumer’s side. The Council will have to educate us on how they will charge the water, we should know how many cubic metres of water a normal household can consume and same applies to a house with tenants. This will help the residents know what they are signing up for. There should be awareness before enrollment,” said Mudavanhu.
Munyaradzi Nzou said the pre-paid water meters should be introduced only if the council does not make residents pay for the purchase of meters.
“Pre-paid meters are not bad at all. Provided the Council is going to install the meters without digging into the rate payers pockets and that the existing water charges will not be hiked. The Council needs to be clear on that issue, financial obligation must be addressed. First the council also needs to improve the water supply because if there are still water challenges implementing water meters will be difficult,” he said.
The council has been called for to educate consumers on the pre-paid water meters, from the installation process, payment and when the initiative will come into effect.