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The Expanded Social Package (ESP) gives qualifying citizens in the City access to Free Basic Services (FBS), on their municipal services such as Rates, Refuse, Sewer, Water and Electricity.

Free basic services is defined as the minimum rebate amount provided to individuals sufficient to cover or cater for the basic needs of the household. Only indigent citizens qualify for FBS and the programme is solely intended to assist them.

Citizens are required to register with the City to qualify for free basic services. The City will vet every application, selecting only those citizens that meet the criteria, based on this only successful applicant will be granted indigent status. The City can also decide on the extent to which they subsidize an indigent household.

The City recognizes that the economic status of a family might improve over time. To ensure that only the poorest families are catered for, the City requires registered citizens to reapply for indigent status every six months. Due to infrastructural constraints, there are instances where the City might not be able to service all indigent households that have successfully registered as a result of technical errors and inadequate infrastructure. In such cases, the City will strive to find alternative remedies to better the circumstances of the applicant.

The programme targets vulnerable citizens such as:

• The unemployed;

• Women and children;

• Youth;

• Senior citizens;

• Persons with Disabilities (PWDs);

• Displaced persons.

Poverty Definition & Income Bands

​Band​Description ​New Band Amounts Effective 01 November 2020 Pre-Paid /Conventional Electricity Cap Per Household​​Conventional Water cap per Household
​Band 1​The lowest level of subsidy, aimed at helping those on the borderline of poverty.​R6 281.13​50kwh ​10kl
​Band 2​The middle level of subsidy, aimed at those who earn some formal income but whose earnings fall below the survival level defined by the poverty index ​R4 187.41​100kwh​12kl
​Band 3​The highest level of subsidy, aimed at those with no formal income living in the most deprived circumstances. ​R1 098.32​150kwh​15kl

NB: Annually on 01 November in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) the ESP threshold amount increases. The City has different methods to iden fy indigent ci zens.

Qualifying Criteria:

  • Must be a South African Citizen;
  • Must reside within the City of Johannesburg boundaries;
  • Income should not exceed R6 086.37 on a monthly basis (this includes pensions, investments and other financial resources available).

    Documentation required:
  • Proof of income, SASSA Card, all bank statements (for last 3 months or sworn affidavit confirming that you do not have a bank account. Any other source of income must be declared);
  • Proof of residence, City of Johannesburg Rates and Taxes account number or sworn affidavit from your local police sta on;
  • Iden ty document;
  • City of Johannesburg Rates and Taxes Account;
  • City Power Pre-Paid Meter Account number;
  • Eskom Pre-Paid Electricity Account Number, Conven onal Account Number;
  • Joburg Water Account/ Pre-paid Account Number ITU number on the receipt (Interface tag unit number ).

    NB: Individuals are encouraged to register between the 1st and 15th of the month, to benefit from FBS in the next month. Registrations from the 16th to the last day of the month will only realize benefits in the subsequent month. 

    Types of rebates you may qualify for: 
  • Property owners qualify for subsidy on their rates, refuse, sewer, water and electricity services;
  • Non-property owners or non-account holders qualify for rebates on water and electricity services.


Score on Prevailing CoJ Poverty IndexMonthly allocaon of free electricityMonthly allocaon of free electricity
(Kilow hours) per month on Conventional meters.(Kilow hours) per month on Pre-paid meters.
Band 11-3410 KWh10 KWh
Band 235- 6920 KWh20 KWh
Band 370- 10030 KWh30 KWh

Electricity is capped at 150kwh per household per month.


Score on Prevailing CoJ Poverty IndexAllocation of additional free water per person per day (litres)pmMonthly allocation cap of free water per household in which at least 50% of registered social package recipients qualify. 
Band 11-3425L10Kl 
Band 235- 6950L12Kl 
Band 370- 10050L15Kl 

Water is capped at 15 kl per household per month

Pensioners (Aged 60 and above) whose property value does not exceed R2 500 000.00 (Two million five hundred thousand rand) qualify for rebates on their rates, sewer and refuse of between 70 and 100%. The account must be in the name of the applicant. 

Working Age Citizens and the Unemployed (Aged 18-59) whose property value does not exceed R500 000.00 (Five hundred thousand rand) qualify for between 70 and 100% rebates on their rates, sewer and refuse. The account must be in the name of applicant. 

Registration centres are located in various Customer Service Centres or municipal offices closer to areas where indigent people reside. It is the responsibility of individual citizens to visit municipal offices, to apply for subsidy consideration.

Special COVID-19 Arrangements

In order to limit infections and as part of the continued fight against the Coronavirus. Only new applications will be processed at Customer Service Centres. ESP registrations expiring during this period will continue to be extended.

To renew your application:

  • Email your personal and account details (ESP number, name, surname, account number/s and contact number) to:; or
  • SMS the same to 083 708 9589.

    For enquiries: Contact 011 407 6515/6688/6751