Metro announces changes to its ATTP project – around R451 million already written off
The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Tuesday announced major changes to its Assistance to the Poor Programme (ATTP), which is expected to result in hundreds of millions of Rands owed to the municipality by local residents qualifying for the programme being written off.
The ATTP commenced many years ago with a goal to subsidies municipal services to poor households, and those with extreme poverty to be available for free. The project was designed around household’s income; if the household income is below certain level then they would qualify for the certain batch of municipal services free.
Addressing the media at City Hall in Port Elizabeth, Councillor Rory Riordan, who represented Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan, said that being faced with a situation where had to deal with a large number of households – nearly 80 000, who were benefiting from this programme, it became difficult to effectively monitor it.
“We started to look at the system and there were quite challenges on how the system was administered. People had to apply to benefit from the ATTP and that was a process, which led to nine to ten thousand households on waiting list for the services they entitled to,’’ he said.
Councillor Riordan added that they had about 37 staff working on the programme as well as tools such as vehicles, which cost the Metro around R60 million a year and still resulted in a large number of families landing on the waiting list.
To avoid all these inconveniences, the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Council had approved a new automatic system on the 30th of May 2016, which became effective on the 1st of July.
“We had to find a way of streamline the process. We have moved from the system where people get municipal services because their income is below certain level to a system where people automatically obtain the services if the household’s property value is below R100 000 and less. The system gives us a complete control because we can do everything automatically,’’ said Cllr Riordan.
He further described how the municipality is going to cut costs through this system and that there will no longer need the 37 staff to go door-to-door around the Bay and spend R60 million a year as they can now literally do everything on the computer automatically.
A total of 2 3173 households have been auto-qualified with about R451 million written off.
The Qualifying criteria for the new additional clauses to the ATTP Policy are as follows:
All residential (domestic) properties with a property value of R100 000 and less will be automatically granted ATTP, irrespective of the total income of all occupants of the relevant properties. Annual re-application will not be required for any automatic ATTP cases.
Automatically qualifying cases will be exempted from all stipulations in this ATTP policy, except for the following stipulations:
- The account may not be in the name of an NMBM staff member.
- The property may not be State owned or government owned.
- The account-holder may not be a multi property owner.
- Accounts in the name of a non- natural owner (non-domestic) – business, Trust, etc., may not qualify automatically.
All arrears have been written-off on 1st July 2016 on the accounts which qualify for subsidy in terms of the above criteria.
- A FULL CREDIT for property rates
- A credit to the maximum of 8 kilometres of water per meter reading cycle (approximately 30 days) provided the Municipality may take measures to restrict water consumption should the customer exceeds this allocation. In the case of unmetered supplies the fixed charge will be deemed to be the credit.
- A credit for the month charged sewerage services of the irrespective of the service type, provided in the case of the waterborne sewerage removal (with metered or unmetered water supply) the maximum credit in any month will be the minimum charge for the service (based on kilometres).
- A full credit for the monthly charge in respect of the refuse collection and environmental fee. In the case of the environmental fee the property valuations will determine the maximum.
- A free token for 75kWk of electricity at the beginning of each month. Account-holders must visit their nearest vendor to obtain the free token. Only one free token issued per month.
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