The City of Cape Town has increased efforts to alleviate property, according to a recent statement, by providing financial relief to residents who need it most.
The Democratic Alliance (DA) led city has proposed social packages to assist in relieving the financial burden experienced by the poor, following an increase in their “pro-poor” budget from R2.5 billion last year to R2.7 billion for 2017/2018.
Amongst the services and subsidies to be provided, the city will offer 100% rates rebate to households with monthly incomes of less than R4 000 per month. Similarly, those earning between R4 000 and R6 000 per month will receive rates rebates between 25% and 75%.
Additionally, utilities such as water and electricity will also be subsidised for households making less use of these amenities or on properties valued at less than R400 000.
Recently, the city has come under fire for its policies surrounding social housing with many rights groups saying that not enough is being done by the city on this front.
Arguments from groups, such as Reclaim the City (RTC), are that the poor working in the inner-city should be afforded to live near their source of income to alleviate extreme costs of transportation and facilitate a better quality of life for their families.
For RTC, therein lies the real and sustainable fight against poverty.
The city has been largely criticised for selling large state-owned properties to private organisations with unclear policies on how they’ll mitigate the need for social housing and less segregated spaces within the CBD.
All of which begs the question; surely preventing poverty is better than fighting against it?