Rebates wording changed

P Botha, Sea Point

The City of Cape Town has, deviously, changed the wording of their draft budget relating to rebates granted to owners with incomes below R15 000.

All previous years it read: “The special rebates for senior citizens and disabled persons ”

This year it says: “… in respect of owners who are dependent on pension or social grants for their livelihood ”

This means that senior citizens, who are precluded from receiving pensions because they own property, but are trying to survive in their own homes by, for instance, letting out a room, or have a small monthly income from a savings investment, etc, will no longer qualify.

How does this, supposedly “pro-poor” DA-run City expect elderly owners, already burdened with massive electricity and water costs plus ludicrous over-valuations, to survive? Are they to become vagrants? Commit suicide? Starve to death? Shame on you.

City of Cape Town Deputy Mayor, Ian Neilson, responds:

The change in the wording of the rebate has been forced on the City of Cape Town by the national government through the Municipal Property Rates Act (MPRA).

The City would have preferred to retain its existing system. The law now massively restricts the options that municipalities have in structuring their rates and rebate systems, through a misplaced desire for uniformity in the country.

The City is examining the definition of “pension” and “social grant” by amending its Rates Policy to make the definitions as wide as possible, in a manner that does not conflict with the law.