Ricochet News

Nelson Mandela Bay Metro aware of residents abusing the Assistance To The Poor programme

Feb 9, 2017
Nelson Mandela Bay Metro aware of residents abusing the Assistance To The Poor programme

Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor, Athol Trollip, on Wednesday said that it has come to the attention of the Municipality that a number of residents, who can pay for services are receiving support under the Assistance To The Poor (ATTP) programme.

The ATTP programme is set for an overhaul as Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality has taken a decision to conduct a verification process to ascertain if all the beneficiaries are deserving and indeed cannot afford to pay for municipal services.

"This actually reduces the institution’s ability, in the long term, to provide free services to indigent residents due to the massive financial strain it creates," said Trollip.

"This verification process is being rolled out to ensure that only deserving recipients who legitimately cannot pay for services are benefiting from the programme."

Trollip said that a decision concerning this was taken at a Mayoral Committee meeting that was held on Wednesday at the City Hall Council Chambers.

"Currently, the ATTP policy applies to all residents whose properties are valued at less than R100 000, irrespective of the household income.

"This has led to a financial burden on the municipality from residents who in fact are not legitimate ATTP beneficiaries as they do not meet the requirements, but are still receiving free services," he said.

The Mayoral Committee agreed to also accommodate property owners who have properties that are valued at more than R100 000, if they meet the ATTP criteria.

"When we took over as the new government we made a commitment to be a pro-poor government and deliver basic services to deserving households. We remain committed to providing basic services to the poor, but we also need to take into account the fact that some families are benefitting from the ATTP while they can afford to pay for services rendered.

"People can no longer take advantage of free basic services when they can afford to pay. As such, the municipality will stop providing free services to those residents who do not meet the ATTP criteria, which will be determined through a verification process," the Mayor said.

"A proper analysis of each beneficiary status will be conducted to verify if the individual is in a position to pay for municipal services rendered. No services will be interrupted until the verification process has been completed and the municipality is satisfied with the outcome."