NEWS & ANALYSIS

Susan Shabangu wrong about Tshwane indigent policy - DA

Bronwynn Engelbrecht says this is a core constitutional mandate and has not been scrapped by city

Social Development Minister clueless on Tshwane indigent policy

The Minister for Social Development, Susan Shabangu, lied before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) stating that the City of Tshwane had scrapped its indigent policy. Nothing could be further from the truth and the Minister should know that all municipalities are constitutionally and by law required to assist indigent residents.

The City's Indigent Management Programme - also colloquially referred to as PoP or "Poorest of the Poor" - is a core constitutional mandate of the City. The Executive Mayor of Tshwane, Cllr Solly Msimanga, has also repeatedly stated the City's commitment to ensuring that the most vulnerable residents in the City benefit from the package of free basic services the programme provides.

The DA probed the Minister as to whether her department had an agreement with Home Affairs to waiver the fee for the application of identity documents for the poor. Access to identity documents are critical as it allows the poorest of the poor to access social grants, EPWP jobs and indigent programmes.

The City of Tshwane is currently assisting the most vulnerable members of the City to access identity documents through lobbying Home Affairs to waiver these fees.

The City of Tshwane is one of the few municipalities that is continually reviewing and updating its indigent register to ensure that needy recipients receive the full benefits offered by the City. In addition to the current re-evaluation of existing registrants, the database is also currently subject to an independent audit.

To ensure that residents understand the eligibility criteria and encourage qualifying beneficiaries to register, the City of Tshwane has gone on roadshows - most recently in Eersterust and in Mabopane, Winterveldt and Ga-Rankuwa.

The DA-led City of Tshwane is committed to serving its people, especially people oppressed by unemployment and poverty, and governs in the best interests of all its residents.

Statement issued by Bronwynn Engelbrecht, NCOP Member: Member of the Petitions Select committee, 17 August 2018