The partnership between Makana municipality and Kagiso Trust was conceptualised to include three areas, namely
• Indigent policy management
• Community engagement and
• Local economic development
A Memorandum of Understanding between the two entities was signed in January 2019 and work started in February 2019. This project is expected to end in March 2020. Kagiso Trust has released a preliminary report on the progress that has been made in each of the above areas.
Today we summarise the update regarding the first area that deals with the registration and management of the Indigent Policy.
For the record, Makana municipality does have an approved Indigent Policy. There is also an Indigent Register that is supposed to be revised annually. For the Indigent Policy to be accurately applied, the Indigent Register needs to be accurate and to be regularly updated. Inaccurate indigent data negatively affects the integrity of the municipal Debt Book. Potential indigent customers who are not registered do not receive the Free Basic Services.
Consequently, the municipality loses out on the equitable share it would have received had all the indigent within its jurisdiction been registered.
There are a large number of potential indigents that have not been registered which we are trying to rectify with the current outreach. Motivating indigent customers to register is a big challenge as most do not see the need to register. In this case the Indigent Register will never be accurate. Child Headed Households are also eligible to be granted indigent status, provided that they apply and submit all necessary documentation.
Only 7 412 indigents have been registered to date. Out of these registered indigents, 6278 have valid Identity documents. The 1 124 indigents with invalid IDs still need to be verified. The 6 278 indigents with valid IDs are associated with the R36m debt.
This is the un-collectable debt that inflates the municipality’s Debt Book and needs to be addressed. Any indigent with invalid ID should not qualify for indigent status as this a prerequisite.
Again out of the 7 412 registered indigents, 5 797 are property owners, while 1 615 are tenants. According to the Indigent Policy tenants do not qualify for indigent status. Transferring the deceased estate to the rightful owners is a challenge. These cases need to be identified and addressed. R6 143m of the total indigent debt is associated with this category.
Two Thousand Two Hundred and Thirty Three (2233) of the 7412 registered indigents do not have contactable contact numbers. This makes the use of technology to communicate with customers impossible. A significant debt is associated with customers that cannot be contacted. To address all these problems, the Finance Directorate has embarked on a roadshow to visit all the communities.
The aim of this roadshow is to invite all potential indigents to assist them to register for the indigent programme. This will have the combined benefit of cleansing our data and also enable the municipality to recoup the indigent grant from National Treasury through the equitable share. I call on all community based organisations to encourage residents to come and register.
Hon. Executive Mayor Cllr. Mzukisi Mpahlwa