Cape Town sets aside R1.3bn for indigent relief

2011-03-28 13:09

The City of Cape Town has set aside R1.26 billion in its 2011/12 draft budget for indigent relief, it said today.

“Over the past five years, the city increased the total amount it spends on its indigent residents by almost R800 million, to a proposed R1.26bn in the 2011/12 draft budget,” it said in a statement.

“The city’s 2011/12 draft budget ... has seen significant changes made to increase the amount of people that will benefit from the city’s indigent policies.”

Cape Town mayor Dan Plato said the most significant change to the Indigent Policy for the coming financial year was the proposed adjustment of rates categories to move old age homes and hostels from the commercial category to residential.

“This means that old age homes and hostels will now pay approximately half the rates they used to pay when they were categorised as commercial,” he said.

The change in rating categories meant all rating in the city was now based on actual usage alone, and not on zoning or ownership type, Plato added.

Another increased benefit for the elderly and handicapped was an increase in their rates rebate from R8 500 a month to R10 000.

He said that in the past five years the city had increased the monthly water and sanitation subsidy to indigent households by more than a third, and had more than doubled the property value limit at which residents could qualify for rates rebates.

“We have done our best to serve the needs of our indigent residents, and we urge those residents that qualify as indigent, but have not yet registered, to do so,” Plato said.

Other proposed changes included a monthly indigent grant of R40.50 for water and sanitation services (up from R38) and a 100% rebate on refuse bin services for properties valued under R100 000.

Plato said a new rates rebate category had also been proposed.

Currently, indigent households with a combined income of less than R3000 a month qualified for 100% rates rebates.

All indigent households with income levels between R3 000 and R4 000 a month would now receive a rates rebate of 50%.
Plato said the public had until the end of March to comment on the draft budget.

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