The City of Johannesburg. Pic: inyourpocket.com

In The News South Africa

Joburg City offers free basic services for vulnerable citizens and poor residents

JOHANNESBURG, November 9 – The City of Johannesburg on Friday said they would offer Free Basic Services (FBS) under the Expanded Social Package (ESP) programme to vulnerable individuals to ensure accessibility to services.

The City said that because of the high-level unemployment, there were households that could not afford to pay for municipal services.

The ESP poverty index income bands increased by 4.9 per cent based on figures made available by Statistics South Africa for August 2018.  The said revision was effected from November 1.

MMC for health and social development, Mpho Phalatse said that she was concerned about the lack of interest in the city’s ESP offering in some parts of the city despite its massive investment in outreach initiatives to ensure that the poorest of the poor are not excluded from its benefits.

“I would like to urge all residents who believe they qualify to come through with the relevant documentation and register. This could be your first step out of your current financial situation.

“As a caring city, we will continue to strengthen our commitment towards uplifting the lives of those who have been marginalised,” Phalatse said.

To qualify for the ESP programme, applicants must be South African citizens and live in the Johannesburg area, she said.

“Individuals that qualify to register must have an income not exceeding R5 852.28 per month and must provide proof of income, SASSA Card and three months latest bank statements of all bank accounts.”

“In the absence of these, a sworn affidavit must be produced, confirming no bank account or any other source of income,  Identity document, City of Joburg rates and taxes account, City Power pre-paid meter account number, Eskom pre-paid electricity account number, conventional account number and Johannesburg Water account/pre-paid account number,” Phalatse said.

She said the benefits included water, electricity and other rebates such as rates, sewer and refuse for pensioners whose properties are valued under R2 million. Individuals will further qualify for referral for programmes and services offered by the City Of Joburg departments.

“The ESP rebate is applied for a period not exceeding six months and thereafter requires renewal for continued benefits,” said Phalatse.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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