By Nation Reporter
THE poor performance of the mining sector due to the fall of copper prices on the international market has consequently affected the operations of Luanshya Municipal Council, says mayor Nathan Chanda.
Mr Chanda said due to the financial slump in the mining sector the municipality too had experienced a decline in its revenue collection base.
He said the ability to pay the property rates especially by the majority residents had gone down over the years, leading the council to be owed millions of Kwacha in unremitted rates.
The mayor said the central issue in all council operations hinged on finances because without a strong financial backup sustainable development could not take place.
Mr Chanda said despite the financial constraints the local authority was facing, the mindset of the residents especially property owners was slowly changing as they had started paying their rates in instalments.
“The number of people frequenting the revenue hall at the civic centre to pay rates is on an upswing after persistent efforts by the council through a programme of sensitising domestic and commercial property owners about their moral and legal duty to pay rates,” said Mr Chanda
The mayor urged councillors to ensure that Luanshya’s economy experienced a complete changeover.Mr Chanda said paying of rates was important to the local authority because the money was needed for the development of the municipality.Meanwhile,Mr Chanda said that there was need to modernise Luanshya through a proactive re-planning programme.Mr Chanda said the local authority planned to introduce the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the land alienation process which would increase transparency in land allocation.He said the municipality would also work in collaboration with the Zambia Development Agency (ZDA) to create opportunities for investor partnerships especially in the industrial and agriculture sectors.“In view of the council’s role in facilitating access to basic services such as water and sanitation in the district, the council will endeavour to implore Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) to provide clean safe drinking water and sanitation services to the people of Luanshya,” said Mr Chanda