Indigent support increases to R55m

POLOKWANE – The planned increase to a proposed R55 million in the next financial year was communicated to a city cluster meeting held last Thursday by the Polokwane Municipality.

This was communicated to get input from residents for the draft Integrated Development Plan (IDP) and Budget for the next financial year.

Read more:
Municipal Indigent plan- how it works

Rebates to indigents will amount to a free 6 Kl water and 100 kWh electricity per month, as well as a 100% rebate on refuse, sewer and rates. Should the free services be exceeded, an indigent fee of R100 will have to be paid.

To qualify as an indigent, the household income must not exceed R3 500 per month. The policy is currently reviewed to also cater for child-headed households and qualifying people with disabilities.

The municipality further grants an 80% rebate, increased from 40% the previous year, to owners of residential properties who depend on pensions or social grants, provided the household income does not exceed R8 300.

According to a report by the municipality’s Water and Sanitation Strategic Business Unit last year, 50 villages received free water monthly, 68 received free water supplied by the Lepelle Water Board, and 153 villages received free water supplied by boreholes.

In reports tabled at the recent council meeting it was stated the municipality currently faces a challenge as many residents registered as indigents were found not to qualify.

The municipality’s indigent register is also not updated and revised, so when an indigent’s status changes, the change is not reflected in the register and non-qualifying residents continue to receive the rebates as if they are indigents.

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Nelie Erasmus

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