|Siyasizana is a City of Johannesburg programme to help indigent households, also called the Expanded Social Package, Siyasizana is a basket of benefits allocated to residents based on their level of poverty. It provides free basic services and poverty alleviation assistance.
Questions and Answers
1. What is Siyasizana (also known as the Expanded Social Package)?
The Siyasizana social package is a basket of benefits which the City allocates to citizens based on their level of poverty. It assists poor individuals and the households in which they live.
2. How is this different from the old municipal subsidy system?
The Expanded Social Package is different in many ways (as these frequently asked questions explain), but probably the most important change is that you do not need to be an account holder to apply for subsidies. You just have to live somewhere that has an account with the City for water and/or electricity. You can also apply as a homeless person or as having no formal address (see question 15 below).
3. Who should register for Siyasizana?
Any person earning less than R3 366,00 a month residing - as owner, tenant or lodger - on a property falling within the boundaries of Johannesburg, should register. People with different levels of need qualify for different levels of subsidy. This is done according to the City's measure of poverty - the poverty index ( see question 22 below).
4. What benefits does Siyasizana give me?
Each individual who qualifies is eligible for specific benefits - these include subsidies on water, electricity, transport and rental and, for property owners, subsidies on rates, sanitation and refuse removal charges.
Residents qualify for one of three different levels of benefits, depending on how high they score on the City's poverty index (see question 5 below).
The subsidies for water, electricity, rates, sanitation and refuse removal that a person qualifies for will be applied through the City's billing system based on the person's declared home at the time of registration. Customers with prepaid meters will use a voucher system (see question 9 below).
The amount of subsidies a household gets will be based on the number of people that have declared the household's account as their address when they register and their individual level of poverty (see question 5 on the three-band system).
The subsidies for everyone who qualifies in the household are added together and the total is taken off the household's bill, up to a capped amount. The maximum amount of subsidy is higher for households whose members have very high scores on the City's poverty index (see question 5 below).
Rental and transport subsidies will go directly to the individual (not through the City account).