Relief from municipalities during lockdown
Municipal rates and taxes
Whilst looking for financial relief from any and all avenues, many people in the Western Cape have asked whether the City of Cape Town is offering any those for those unable to pay their municipal taxes because of lowering or loss of income.
According to the City of Cape Town’s website, at this stage, the City was offering additional relief measures, effective immediately:
- Due to the economic impact of the Covid-19 emergency, many individuals and businesses had had sudden reductions in their incomes. The city had adjusted the processes of its indigent, disabled, and pensioner rebate applications to enable those severely affected to qualify more quickly for these rebates. Normal processes required the assessment of income over three months to enable qualification. This was now reduced to an assessment of one month of income so that people could qualify more quickly for the benefits.
- The rebate would be backdated to April 1 or the month in which the income was lost. It would be valid for 12 months, unless there was a change in the person’s income or they were re-employed, in which case they needed to notify the city.
The site also has a table which indicates that:
- If you are a property owner who has lost your job/ has no income – and if you total household income is now R6000/ month or less – then you can apply for help via email (during lockdown) at Indigent.firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS 48043.
- If you are a property owner receiving a pension (60 years and older) or have a disability rebate – and you have experienced a reduction in investment returns or household income due to COVID-19 – then you can apply for help via email (during lockdown) at Rates.email@example.com or SMS to 48043.
- If you are a property owner who previously didn’t apply or qualify for the pensioner (60 years and older) and disability rates rebates as your total household income then was above R17 500 pm per month, and now your total household income has been reduced to R17 500 pm or less – then you can apply for help via email(during lockdown) at Rates.firstname.lastname@example.org or SMS to 48043.
The category which stands out most for me though, and one which I think most people will be interested in, is this:
- If you are a property owner who does not qualify for indigent or pensioner rebates but your account is getting into arrears, then you can make a payment arrangement to pay off the rates over an agreed number of months. No interest will be charged, or debt management actions taken for the duration of the arrangement, provided it is honoured. You can apply for help via email (during lockdown) at COVID19.Relief@capetown.gov.za or SMS to 48043.
All relevant documentation and proof to be submitted via email and all applications will be assessed on merit.
***Applications will be assessed during the lockdown for those able to submit proof via email. Once the lockdown is over applicants may submit their proof at the City’s customer care offices and their applications will then be assessed and backdated where necessary.
(The above comes from the statement by the City’s Executive Deputy Mayor and Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Alderman Ian Neilson).