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​13/07/2016: More vulnerable consumers to get the biggest relief 
MORE vulnerable people, child-headed-households, pensioners and unemployed with houses – are set to score big as the City of Johannesburg implements new rates policy in July.
Already more indigent people are getting rebates on their houses thanks to the city’s Expanded Social Packages (ESP) and the Property Rates policy rebates.

About 124 447 households are currently registered on ESP. The ESP also known as the Siyasizana, is a basket of benefits that the municipality offers the most vulnerable residents based on their level of poverty. The number of those applying for the social package is expected to increase to around 290 000 over the medium term; as more people are buckling under economic pressure.

City’s Spokesperson Kgamanyane Maphologela says the general theme during the consultation process with customers early this year, was that many raised the issue of affordability.

“The City has taken bold steps to ensure that we implement programmes aimed at shielding the vulnerable customers. There are major changes that have been done on the current rates policy with lots of benefits especially for the poor and pensioners. The policy takes into account the current harsh economic conditions; and this is an indication that we are a caring city,” says Maphologela.

The City realizes that a lot of home-owners in Johannesburg especially the poor, are struggling financially because of the current economic impact; as a result a number of interventions have been made to shield particularly the poor.

The City has a number of categories for the poor and pensioners who are either excluded from paying rates or qualify for reductions and rebates.

The following are the categories for those who qualify:

 The owners dependent on social package
- The owner must achieve a score on the City’s Poverty Index
- This applies to customers with limited income as determined by the City
- The value of the property may not exceed R450 000
- The owner must own and occupy the property concerned
 Owners dependent on pensions
- The owner must have reached the age of 60 years
- If a pensioner aged 70 and above, he or she qualifies for a 100% irrespective of income
- If a pensioner has a gross monthly income below R8 234, he or she qualifies for a 100% rebate, provided the pensioner is at least 60 years of age
- If a pensioner has a gross monthly income above R8 234 but less than R14 116, he or she qualifies for a 50% rebate, provided the pensioner is at least 60 years of age
- The value of the property may not exceed R2 million

 Child Headed households
- The property must be owned by a terminally ill parent or the child of deceased estate of the parent
- The property must not be worth more than R2 million
- The terminally ill parent or his or her children must annually apply for the rebate.
The benefits are offered to qualifying citizens on a six months basis and must therefore be renewed every six months.

Ends –

Kgamanyane Stan Maphologela
Spokesperson: Group Finance Department
Phone: 011 358 3420
Fax: 011 358 3639
Cell: 0606330494

Interview scheduling, media queries and documentation:
Nkosana Lekotjolo
Cell: 0824679429