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By Vukosi Maluleke

Digital Journalist

Breathing room for Joburg pensioners

Pensioner municipal accounts have been flagged against possible credit control pending rebate applications.

Pensioners previously eligible for rebates won’t face possible cut-offs until end of September 2023.

City of Johannesburg’s Director of Communications and Stakeholder management Kgamanyane Maphologela told The Citizen the application process for pensioner rebates has begun, with 15 000 thousand applications received thus far.

“The City is sensitive to the needs of senior citizens, and all municipal accounts of registered pensioners who were previously approved to receive the lapsed pensioner rebates will immediately be flagged from any possible credit control until the end of September 2023,” Maphologela said.

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Following the City’s heads-up to residents earlier this week to expect higher rates on their municipal statements as new tariffs took effect from 1 July – Maphologela said all ratepayers are required to pay the newly updated rate.

He said in a media statement that pensioners whose rebates lapsed on 30 June 2023 must reapply for rebates and will have to be re-evaluated to determine eligibility.

Warning against non-payment, Maphologela said a “pending application” doesn’t mean approval.

Ward 72 Counsellor, Daniel Schay told The Citizen he was deeply saddened by the length of time it took the City to process pensioner rebate applications.

“I believe the process for over 70-year-olds is redundant and could easily be automated due to the fact that the city has all the required information for this category already,” Schay said.

Meanwhile, Maphologela encouraged all ratepayers to stick to the new tariff structure until their objections and pensioner rebates are finalised, saying this applies to both new and previously eligible applicants.

“Only once written correspondence to this effect is received can a property owner start paying [reduced rates],” he said.

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Maphologela said successful applicants will be charged adjusted rates with backdated rebates – only if they apply before September.

The City of Johannesburg has categorised pensioners into two groups – those between ages 60 to 69, as well as 70 and above.

Pensioners falling within the 60 to 69 range must tick some boxes to qualify for 100% rebates:

  • Gross monthly income lower than R11 904
  • Property value not exceeding R1.5 million (inclusive of the R300 000 residential threshold value)

According to Maphologela, pensioners whose gross monthly household income exceeds R11 904 but is less than R20 404 with properties valued above R1.5 million qualify for 50% rebates up to the R1.5 million property value.

“Rates will be levied on the balance of properties that exceed R1.5 million,” Maphologela said.

When it comes to pensioners 70 years old and above, income levels aren’t considered and successful applicants will qualify for 100% rebates on properties up to R2 million in market value.

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City of Johannesburg(COJ) pensioners tariffs