City needs US$150k for billing system

19 Jan, 2020 - 00:01 0 Views

The Sunday Mail

Lea Mutanda

Harare City Council is seeking US$150 000 to install a reliable billing system, following almost a year of failing to provide customers with real-time service bills.

Last year, the local authority failed to pay for a controversial and highly criticised BIQ billing system, prompting Quill Associates, the South African system developer, to terminate its services.

The fallout left the local authority stuck without proper data on its customers.

It has been gathered that Harare City Council is frantically trying to set up a new system and requires a big server to capture its ratepayers’ data.

In an interview, Harare Mayor Councillor Herbert Gomba said:  “Last year, we managed to introduce a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system that was going to be responsible for the billing process and it is functional to a larger extent.

“At the moment, we are using a small server that is giving us problems, but we are trying to secure foreign currency so that we can buy a bigger server.

“We need around US$150 000 to procure the bigger server,” said Cllr Gomba, adding that they have made submissions to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe to access foreign currency in order to procure the server.

For almost a year, Harare City Council has been failing to produce billing statements to ratepayers. It is suspected that every month, the local authority is losing millions of dollars due to the absence of information, which makes it impossible to follow up on defaulters.

 

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