When the City’s new 2010/11 budget comes into effect on 01 July 2010, it will bring further relief for many residents who have been struggling financially, but did not necessarily qualify to register as indigent residents with the City before.
The City’s 2010/11 budget of R23 billion, which was approved by Council on 25 May, focuses on stimulating growth and job creation, as well as providing more assistance to those Capetonians most in need.
A total of R1,1 billion of the City’s R23 billion budget (5%) has been allocated to help poorer residents with free basic services and rebates in the 2010/11 financial year.
Some of the key changes in the 2010/11 budget are:
- The monthly Indigent Grant of R30.00 for water and sanitation will as from July increase to R38.00. This provides an additional 4 500 litres of free water per month per household (and the associated sewerage charges and VAT), which is 500 litres per month more than previously provided. The 4 500 litres is over and above the 6 000 litres all households receive free of charge monthly.
- A total of R89 million has been allocated to provide the indigent households of the City of Cape Town with the extra free water for the 2010/11 financial year. Indigent-registered households also get 3 150 litres sewerage removal per month free, over and above the 4 200 litres sewerage that gets removed free of charge per month for all households in the city.
- The valuation limit for the above subsidy is now increased from R199 000 to R300 000. What this means is that all residential houses valued at R300 000 or below will be eligible to receive 4 500 litres of extra free water, per average month, free of charge.
- The first R88 000 of value of all residential properties are currently exempted from rates and this value now increases to R200 000. The residential rate on the remaining value is R0.00530/R.
- Besides these measures put in place to help the poorer residents, the City will also still offer free electricity for those households that purchase less than 400 kWh electricity per month. With the introduction of an inclining block tariff a substantial discount is provided for customers consuming between 50 kWh and 150 kWh per month. A total of R97 million of the R1,1 billion set aside to help the poor has been allocated for this free electricity.
Subsidies for a total of R166 million have been allocated for refuse removal. Rebates varying between 100% and 25% will now be granted to residential properties valued at R400 000 or below, increased from R300 000. Those residents living in residential properties valued at less than R100 000 will also receive a 100% rebate for the first refuse bin. In addition, R67 million will be used to provide informal settlements with solid waste removal services.
Senior Citizens and Disabled Persons will now receive rates rebates between 100% and 10% for monthly household incomes of up to R8 500. This income threshold is increased from R8 000.
The City has for the 2010/11 financial year also set aside an amount of R601 million to provide housing for the poor. This amount includes funds for upgrades to informal settlements, the establishment of new settlements, and upgrades to 43 500 rental units and 11 000 hostel units.
Who qualifies as an indigent resident?
The City’s indigent policy assists struggling households in paying their rates and service charges. To qualify, residents must meet certain criteria, and register on the City’s indigent database.
The City uses the following criteria to evaluate applicants:
- Proof of gross household income: This must not exceed R3 000 per household per month, irrespective of the municipal valuation of property.
- Ownership status: The applicant must be the registered owner of the property or an occupant of a child-headed household where the property is registered in the name of a deceased parent/s. In addition, the applicant must not be the registered owner of more than one property.
- Occupancy status: The applicant must be a full-time occupant of the property, and the property must be used for residential purposes only.
Prospective indigent applicants are urged to register without delay in order to receive the benefits approved by Council. They are therefore invited to register at any of the City’s Municipal Revenue Offices, or by calling 0860 103 089 for further information. Indigent residents should re-register every year.
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