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Miners call on government to introduce a flat rate for council levy

By Business Reporter – Monday 22 June 2020

HARARE (Mining Index) – MINERS have called on government to introduce a flat rate for Rural Council Levy to bring uniformity and avoid over charging by local authorities.

This follows a recent review for rural levies by local authorities Rural District Councils (RDCs) across the country, with some local authorities now charging levies in foreign currency.

Miners in Kadoma say they received their statements, with exorbitant charges pegged in USD.

“In Kadoma, we were levied US$11 000,” revealed one mine.

While it is a noble thing for RDCs to revise the levies in line with inflation, such costs are beyond the affordability of most miners.

Mining fees gazetted by government are uniform across board, but it is a different story with RDCs and local authorities whose levies vary.

The Rural Council Levy is paid annually and each local authority gazettes its own rate.

“It is better for government to put a flat rate because some of the charges are way out of line,” said another miner based in Bindura.

“From nowhere, the levies have been hiked to ZW$3 600 without any prior notice of an increase in levies,” added another miner.

Miners have been urged to attend meetings organised by local authorities so they can submit their contributions in line with what is happening on the ground.

“It is important for miners to attend council budget meetings to challenge the proposals before they are approved. Failure to attend such meetings results in other people who are not miners dictating what they think is practical for miners yet it is too exorbitant, forcing miners to operate illegally, exposing them to litigation,” said Chiedza Chipangura, a businesswoman who is also a miner.

In the gold sector, government, through Fidelity Printers and Refiners (FPR) introduced a flat rate of US$45 per fine gram of gold, although most miners were not enthused by this move. ENDS//

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