Ricochet News

Pensioners and disabled homeowners must urgently re-apply for discounts

Jul 5, 2017
Pensioners and disabled homeowners must urgently re-apply for discounts

The Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality on Wednesday made an urgent appeal to pensioned residents and residents with disabilities, who are municipal account holders to re-apply for rebates on their property rates for the 2017/18 financial year, which began on 1 July 2017.

"Note that these property rebates do not include water and electricity: they are strictly limited to property only," said Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality's Communications Officer, Mthubanzi Mniki.

"Nelson Mandela Bay prides itself on being a caring city. This discount is only one of many ways in which the Municipality tries to assist those that are less fortunate."

The NMBM Portfolio Chairperson of Budget & Treasury, Cllr Retief Odendaal, said that the Municipality is committed to ensuring not only that the city's coffers are managed transparently and efficiently, but also to assist and provide relief to those in need.

To qualify for the rebates, the applicant must:

  •  be a natural person or a trust for which the Municipality has, at its sole discretion, waived the criteria of natural person.
  • in the case of such a trust, the total gross annual income of all people residing on the relevant property must be added to the total gross annual income of the rebates beneficiaries staying on that property and meet all the other requirements of NMBM Property Rates Policy.
  • be the owner of the property on 1 July of the year which is being applied for
  • live in the property as his/her normal residence; should this not be possible, due to no fault of the owner, the Municipality can approve a rebate in respect of the spouse or children of the owner residing in the property without the owner
  • be a pensioner - at least 60 years of age on 1 July of the financial year of application, or  turning 60 during the year of application. In this case, the rebate will be granted on a pro rata basis as from the date on which the applicant turns 60 years of age
  • be a person with disabilities - a recipient of a disability grant or pension, and he/she must submit proof of the nature of the disability, which can be in form of a letter from a medical practitioner, with the application
  • be a recipient of a total gross annual income from all sources of a maximum of R11 850 per month (excluding medical aid contributions and child support grant)

"The Municipality will not grant property rates rebates to residents who are recipients of the ‘NMBM Indigent Subsidy’, as they are completely exempt from paying any rates (the Municipality offers such recipients a 100% write-off on municipal accounts, based on their lack of financial means)," said Mniki.

"Residents, who have outstanding balances and would like to apply for the rebate, should either pay their account balances in full or at least have a payment arrangement with the Municipality in place before their applications will be considered. Such applicants need to continue paying, even after the rebate is granted, as the Municipality will not write off any existing debt."

He said that applicants, who own more than one property will also not be considered for the said rebates; however, in exceptional circumstances and at the discretion of the Municipality, a rebate may be granted.

"The application window opens in June of every year and the application process come into effect as from 1 July, the first day of the municipal financial year. Once a rebate is granted, it will be valid for one year only, and will not be amended on an ad hoc basis should the financial circumstances of the relevant household change during the year applied for. Residents, including existing recipients, need to re-apply for rebates every financial year," Mniki further said.

To obtain application forms and more information, customers may visit their nearest municipal Customer Care Centre, call the Municipality's Customer Care number on 041 506 5555, the municipal website at www.mandelametro.gov.za