Blantyre City Council raises market fees

Blantyre City Council (BCC) has adjusted upwards business licence and market fees effective July 1, business operators have confirmed.

Business licence fees for those operating from containers has gone up to K50 000 from K40 000 per annum while market fee is now at K100 from K80 per day.

“In fact, we have been given notice that they have adjusted both market and trading license fees with effect from July 1 2014. But they said the new tickets are not ready therefore for this month we still have to pay the old fees, but come August the new fee shall be implemented,” said Muike Josama, one of the business operators.

Business operators in this market will have to dig in their pockets
Business operators in this market will have to dig in their pockets

However, business operators told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) last week that the move is likely to be challenged, arguing the authorities should first provide them with necessary amenities such as good sanitation before hiking the fees.

“We are not against the hiking of the fees, but rather they should first of all make sure that the city is clean all the time with all necessary facilities.”

Another business operator, Isaac Kaliya, said he is not convinced on the usage of the market, observing that if used properly, the money collected could help to transform the city.

He said the city authorities should have addressed the challenges first before adjusting the fees, adding that the authorities have otherwise failed.

Kaliya wondered why city authorities are also failing to rid the streets of vendors when they have all the machinery at its disposal.

He said even refuse are left uncollected in most places within the city, making it difficult for vendors to comply with some hygienic principles.

A city council official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that the city authorities have adjusted market and other fees in view of the financial difficulties the city is going through.

The city authorities told the media recently that BCC loses close to K2 billion every year in uncollected taxes from business operators, adding that service delivery is compromised by a high percentage of city rate defaulters.

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