Officials from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) have said that inadequate finance has frustrated the development of infrastructure and other projects in the city.
These remarks were made during NBS TV’s Spotlight show on Monday night where KCCA directors discussed the journey to a “Kampala Smart City”.
Samuel Sserunkuma, the director revenue collection at KCCA, said that although the potential is there in terms of collecting enough revenue to finance all the projects in the city, they are not yet up to the task due to some challenges.
“The local taxes we collect aren’t adequate to finance the infrastructure. We have over time moved from collecting Shs 30 billion to Shs 90 billion being collected currently. We have plans to gradually finance the development projects in the city,”he said.
Sserunkuma said that all operators in the city must have the City Operators Tax Number adding that the figures for trading licences are determined by the Ministry of Trade.
“It is cheaper to pay for a trading license when out of Kampala as compared to the Central Business District. This is deliberate.Ground rent is one of the sources of revenue.The rates collected from markets have been lowered to enable the traders to kick-start their businesses,”he said.
“We also collect hotel tax.The income from this tax has reduced over the last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” he added.
Sserunkuma said that KCCA shall continue to conduct taxpayer education to bring on board taxpayers and help them understand why they have to pay taxes.
“The nature of our revenue team is different. They collect taxes with a human face and smile. In most cases, people confuse the enforcement and the revenue teams,”he said.
Justus Akankwasa,the director Engineering and Technical Services at KCCA revealed that they have developed the Kampala street lighting master plan with the aim to deploy 20,000 lights and retrofit the existing grid-connected lights.
“I want to assure the citizens of Kampala that beginning next financial year, we shall be implementing the Kampala Street lighting Masterplan,”said Akankwasa.
Akankwasa said that there is a plan to have the roads modernised and developed.
“We have done a lot with funding from the government of Uganda. We have worked on the Kulambiro Road, Acacia and others. We are working with police to enhance discipline among the drivers in the city. We have the CCTV cameras now,”he said.
He said as they move forward into inspection, they shall require people to upgrade the old buildings.
“We are moving in that direction. We are building on the theme of a Smart City. In the smart city, we have to do automated things effectively for the good of the people in Kampala,”he said.