The City of Johannesburg appeals to all those who can’t afford to pay for services to register for ESP

MMC for Health and Social Development explaining ESP to residents of Orlando and Diepkloof.

The Member of Mayoral Committee (MMC) for Health and Social Development in the City of Johannesburg Mpho Phalatse held a series of educational workshops about the Expanded Social Package (ESP).

The workshops which were targeted at residents of Region D kicked off at the Diepkloof Welfare Centre recently.

The aim was for the MMC to educate residents especially the elderly about how they can benefit from ESP as provided by the city.

This comes after uncertainty about the amount of free water residents will be getting from the beginning of July.

“We are cognisance of the fact that some of our residents are unemployed and vulnerable, people like the elderly, the youth and many other who can’t afford to pay for services,” said MMC Phalatse.

“Through these workshops, we want to reach out to them and get them to register on the city’s indigent register which is ESP so that we can understand what kind of discounts they qualify for with regards to water, electricity, property rates and taxes, waste removal and so forth. We also want to give them access to other social benefits available in the City of Johannesburg.”

The ESP is a basket of benefit offered by the city to its residents who can’t afford to pay for services based on their poverty level.

The unemployed and pensioners are required to visit their nearest municipal offices and register for the ESP programme before they can benefit.

The city is currently in the process of updating its indigent database hence the drive to raise awareness and educate the people by Phalatse.

As of July 1, the six kilolitres of basic free water will only be available to those residents who can’t afford.

The MMC said, “You have to be registered for ESP and have been provided us with proof that you can’t afford, only then you ca continue to get it.

“In fact, six kilolitres is a minimum, you can get even up to 15 kilolitres depending on our qualification criteria and how we would have done calculations after you have submitted your documents.”

Those who ca afford to pay for water and who do not qualify for ESP will not be eligible for the free six kilolitres of water as of the beginning of July.

The ESP covers all municipal services including electricity. It does not matter if the supplier is City Power or Eskom, those who qualify to be on the indigent database will qualify for discounts on electricity.

The MMC’s workshops also provided residents with a platform to get assistance with regards to other municipal services like health and skills development.

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Mzwandile Khathi

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