Policy on Indigent Customers

15 June 2022 656

The Municipal Council must prioritize the basic needs of the community, promote the social and economical development of the community, and ensure that all residents and communities in the Municipality have access to at least the minimum level of basic municipal services in terms of Section 152(1) and 153(b) of the Constitution.

What is regarded as basic services?

To answer the question on what is regarded as basic services is to be able to access electricity, to have access to clean water within a reasonable distance of one’s dwelling, to have access to basic sanitation, solid waste removal and access to and availability to roads.

Why was the policy designed?

The indigent subsidy policy was designed to ensure that households with no or low income are not denied reasonable services, and on the contrary that the Municipality is not financially burdened with non-payment of services. Provided that grants are received, and funds are available, the indigent subsidy policy remain intact.


The purpose of the policy is to ensure that the subsidy scheme for indigent households form part of the financial management system of Matjhabeng Local Municipality, and to ensure that the same procedure is followed for each individual case.

What Principals does the policy promote?

The Policy promotes the following:-

  • To ensure that the portion for free basic services allocated as part of the equitable shares received annually, will be utilized for the benefit of the poor and not to subsidize rates and service charges of those who can afford to pay;
  • To link the policy with the Municipality’s Integrated Development Plan (IDP), Local Economic Development (LED) initiative and poverty alleviation programs;
  • To promote an integrated approach to free service delivery; and
  • To engage the community in the development and implementation of this policy.

How do you qualify for indigent support?

In order to qualify for indigent support there is a fixed set of criteria which you need to meet, before qualifying:

  • The applicant must be a resident within the Matjhabeng Municipal area;
  • The applicant must be in possession of a valid South African Identity document;
  • The total monthly gross income for the registered owner/tenant and his/her spouse or life companion should not be more than an amount as determined by Council from time to time. This amount will be determined at the beginning of every financial year and will be applied for the duration of that particular financial year. Currently the income amount is deemed to be less or equal to the amount received by Free state pensioners as determined annually by the Minister of Finance.
  • The applicant must be the owner or tenant who receives municipal services and is registered as an account holder on the Municipal Financial System.
  • Any occupant or resident of the single household referred to above may not benefit in more than one property in addition to the property in respect of which indigent support is provided.
  • A tenant can only apply for the benefits in respect of the charges he/she is billed for while the landlord remains liable for all ownership related charges such as rates.
  • The current account of a deceased estate may be subsidized if the surviving spouse or dependents of the deceased who occupies the property, applies for assistance. Relevant supporting documents need to be submitted as part of the application in order for the municipality to assist with the costs of transferring the property.
  • Child headed families will be assisted and costs of transfer of the property will be waived.
  • The applicant whose total monthly household exceed the threshold, but the circumstances are such that the applicant is not able to pay for the services (eg. When the applicant uses most of the money towards medication) he/she will be allowed to apply. The applicant will be considered by council based on the merit.

The above is important to evaluate if you will qualify for Indigent Support.

Important to note that this policy is designed to assist the community and to ensure that the community is not denied reasonable services.