If you’re struggling you may be eligible for relief on your municipal bills in Cape Town

Ling Shepherd found out how you can access indigent relief in the City of Cape Town. 

One thing lockdown has taught us, is that the bare essentials is all we need. Aside from food, it is water and shelter. But no matter where the economy goes, we need to be aware of the relief systems that local governments provide. Now after some redirects, and clicking through on the City of Cape Town’s website we found the indigent relief process.  

The city has raised the indigent income threshold to R7000 per month. This means that if a home owner’s income is R7000 and under, they will qualify for indigent relief. If anyone has lost their job, and the total household income is below R7000 they too can apply for relief funding.The website interface is very user friendly but there are no direct links to the information and documents one would need to apply. So we clicked ahead for you. 

Once you log on the City’s site click on the Family and Home tab here. Then Click on financial relief and rebates.

Click on financial support services then finally on Indigent benefits.

You may qualify for indigent support if you:

·         are a homeowner

·         earn R7000 or less per month

·         own only one property

·         are the full-time occupant of the home

·         use your home mainly for residential purposes (60% of the size of the house or property)

·         are a child who lives in the home of a parent who has passed away, or

·         received the house in a divorce settlement

This is the list of documents you will need to gather. You will need to hand in the supporting documents along with the completed Indigent relief form available at the end of the latter page, at any walk-in centre or post to Director: Revenue,City of Cape Town, PO BOX 655, Cape Town, 8000.

Our review of the process: 

While we applaud the city for the initiative, the number of redirected pages on the website is unnecessary. These relief programmes are also not widely publicised enough, resulting in many people not even being aware that they can be assisted. The City should read the room, and advertise in widely read publications like community newspapers and the popular radio stations in Cape Town. Still, it’s a thumbs up from us.