Water resources and management minister Samuel Sipepa Nkomo says the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) is in the process of handing back water and sewer infrastructure to Gwanda, Beitbridge and Plumtree town councils.
Nkomo told Radio Dialogue that they are currently assessing the capacity of these local authorities to manage both water and sewer reticulation systems before the official handover.
“In order for a municipality to qualify for a handover of the water and sewer reticulation it should have a proper billing system and have an ability to demonstrate revenue collection,” said Nkomo.
A principal administrator in Plumtree Town Council Elvis Maphosa said the local authority is ready to take over. He said they are currently waiting for ZINWA’s report following their recent assessment.
“We already have a billing system and revenue collection because we always had these before ZINWA took over,” said Maphosa.
Maphosa also said the handover might be a positive move that will enhance development, stating that being forbidden to control these facilities has been pinning the border town down.
Gwanda acting mayor Thokozile Sibanda also said the local authority is ready to assume responsibility.
“We are just ready to do that, engineers came to assess us and we demonstrated ability,” said Sibanda.
Since the enactment of the ZINWA Act, water and sewer reticulation in these three town has been under the ministry’s parastatal. Residents of the three towns have complained of poor service delivery which at its peak saw Beitbridge being one of the worst affected parts of the country during the 2008 cholera outbreak.