Joburg to spend R600m to fight poverty

THE City of Johannesburg will spend about R600million as part of its fight against poverty, Executive Mayor Amos Masondo announced at the launch of Siyazama, an Expanded Social Package programme, in Braamfontein yesterday.

THE City of Johannesburg will spend about R600million as part of its fight against poverty, Executive Mayor Amos Masondo announced at the launch of Siyazama, an Expanded Social Package programme, in Braamfontein yesterday.

Masondo said the subsidy of free basic water, sanitation, refuse removal, transport and electricity will cover any person earning less than R3366 a month.

Siyazama is divided into three bands - depending on the poverty level of the beneficiary.

"We measure poverty through the poverty index. It is scored out of 100 points - 70 points are based on the person's income and personal circumstances while 30 points are based on how deprived the area in which the person lives is compared to other areas in Johannesburg.

"The higher the person's points are, the poorer the city considers that person to be," Masondo said.

He said for beneficiaries to apply, they need to be South African citizens with IDs and copies of the City's account for the property they live in.

"If one knows their ID number, but does not have their ID, they can still register - but they will have to produce an ID within six months," he said.

Masondo said fingerprints of beneficiaries would be recorded in the system "so they could be checked whether they are not benefitting from other government programmes".

He said beneficiaries will include tenants, backyard dwellers, homeless people and those in Inner City apartments.

The programme will be rolled out on July 1 and will provide social assistance to among others disabled people, ex-combatants, the elderly and child-headed households .

The recipients of Siyazama will also be prioritised for access to employment.

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