Section 27 of the South African Constitution provides that: "Everyone has the right to have access to social security, including, if they are unable to support themselves and their dependants, appropriate social assistance. The state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of each of these rights".
Sol Plaatje Municipality recognizes its constitutional obligation to give priority to the basic needs of its community, to promote the social and economic development of the community and to ensure that all residents and communities in the municipality have access at least to a basic level of municipal services.
To be able to reach a far wider community and in assisting indigents and providing at least basic municipal services to the poor, the municipality consistently reviews and updates its indigent policy, as well as its indigent verification criteria, in order to maximize the number of indigent households receiving free basic services.
Who qualifies for the subsidy?
The Indigent Policy of the municipality recognizes indigent households as households with the following distinct characteristics that are also criteria to qualify and receive free basic services:
- Full-time occupant of the property
- Account holder (municipal account)
- Use of municipal services
- Total household income must not exceed R3 750 per month
- Child headed households
- Prepayment electricity meter must be installed
- Beneficiaries of low cost free basic houses (RDP) funded through subsidies and grants
If the applicant meets all of the criteria, they will be entitled to free basic services on a monthly basis.
What is an indigent subsidy?
Every approved indigent household shall receive Free Basic Services (FBS), these benefits shall include the following:
- First 50Kwh of electricity per month
- First 6Kl of water per month
- Refuse removal (full subsidization)
- Sanitation (full subsidization)
Unfortunately property rates will not be subsidized as a FBS. To be successful applicant of the indigent subsidy one must have a prepaid meter installed. The municipality installs a prepaid electricity meter at own cost to all qualifying households to ensure that the electricity bill is easily managed and to enable the customer to claim free units per month. Should the applicant refuse to install a prepayment meter, indigent application will be declined.
How to apply for the subsidy?
The application form can be obtained at any Sol Plaatje municipal offices. The following documents are required with the application form:
- Certified Identity Document (ID).
- Payslip/ Pension slip or any other prove of income
- In case you are unemployed, kindly bring along a sworn affidavit from police station
- If the account holder is deceased, death certificate of the account holder and a letter of authority from the Master of High Court
Sol Plaatje municipality also recognize the prolific circumstance of Child Headed Households within its boundaries, and accordingly provides an allowance for a needed relief.
- Child-headed households shall qualify automatically for subsidization.
- A child shall be any person who is 18 years and younger.
- Such applicants shall be assisted by the ward councilor and all documentary proof shall serve as evidence prior to qualification.
- A letter of authority from the Master of High Court is also important for the processing of these applications
Verification of indigents
A site verification visit will be performed and the applicant will be interviewed within a two-year period to confirm their declarations in the application. Thereafter, site verifications will be conducted at least once every two years. It is incumbent upon the indigent household to declare any change in their status that will necessitate review of the allocation. The applicant will be assisted to complete the application form at any of the municipal offices.