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City offers nearly R1,2bn in rates relief

In the previous financial year 2015/16, The City of Cape Town waived more than R90m in rates rebates to senior citizens, residents with special needs and indigent persons. In total, the City forwent approximately R1,17bn of rates income, according to a report which served before the City’s Mayoral Committee on 18 October 2016. 

More than 31 700 senior citizens and residents with special needs benefited from the relief, while 4 799 indigent residents were assisted.

During the 2015/16 financial year, rebate reductions of approximately R829,2m in total were granted for all categories of residential property.

The purpose of these various forms of rebate is primarily to ensure that rates are more affordable for our residents, and that owning a home does not become prohibitive to those on low or fixed incomes.

On another level, it is absolutely vital that we do everything in our power to make our city more inclusive for residents of all socio-economic circumstances.

Our vulnerable residents must feel that they are a valued part of our city, that they are welcome, and that there are concerted efforts from our side to help alleviate poverty.

Importantly, we cannot be a caring city without being a well-run and efficient administration first, and this means that we must also focus strongly on financial sustainability.

We must ensure that our ratepayers receive value for money through the high levels of service delivery and through constant investment in the City’s infrastructure.

I would like to thank all ratepayers for paying their rates as this has allowed us to help those in our city who are most in need.

Rebates, reductions and exemptions for the 2015/16 financial year include:

  • R87,5 million for religious organisations (2 018 beneficiaries)
  • R85,8 million for senior citizens and people with disabilities (31 704 beneficiaries)
  • R5 million for indigent property owners (4 799 beneficiaries)
  • R71,4 million for agricultural properties (749 beneficiaries)
  • R73,5 million for public benefit/non-profit and sporting organisations (1 728 beneficiaries)
  • R779 million in total for residential value reductions of up to R200 000 (687 892 beneficiaries)
  • R1,3 million for land reform beneficiaries (24 beneficiaries)
  • R17,3 million for, among others parks, cemeteries and nature reserves (767 beneficiaries)
  • R49,3 million for public service infrastructure (105 beneficiaries)
  • This year R1,4 billion has been set aside for rates rebates alone.

The City would therefore like to ensure that all qualifying property owners have the opportunity to make use of this form of financial assistance.

Senior residents (60 years and older), as well as recipients of a disability grant or pension, could qualify for rates rebates ranging between 10% and 100%. The upper limit of total household income for these two categories has also been raised to R15 000 per month.Property owners who registered for financial relief in the past must re-register to prove that the circumstances that enabled them to benefit from the policy still apply.

The rebates start from the date that the City receives applications and remain valid until the end of June next year. The City has extended the registration period for rebates to 30 November 2016.

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