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How to reduce household budget crunch, rising costs <p>​‘By making small changes, it’s possible to reduce household costs to absorb some of the price increases and reduce the budget crunch. Households have barely started emerging from the profound impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and national lockdown. Now, however, we also have to contend with a continued surge in fuel prices and the impact of Eskom’s latest electricity price increase, which will be felt by municipal customers from July when the new financial year comes into effect. This, combined with the projected rise in consumer price inflation, could see households in for a tough time. However, there are several ways to make households more resilient to these cost pressures, especially as it relates to services. The City also has help available for registered indigent people and pensioners, as well as those who have been severely affected by Covid-19. Residents should please get in touch with the City to see if they qualify for assistance,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Finance, Councillor Siseko Mbandezi. </p><p> <strong>Top tips to reduce household costs </strong> <br> <br>1. <strong>Use less water; use less power. </strong>See how to here: <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-water-and-sanitation-services/make-water-saving-a-way-of-life/Think%20water">https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-water-and-sanitation-services/make-water-saving-a-way-of-life/Think%20water</a> and <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-electricity-services/saving-electricity">https://www.capetown.gov.za/Family%20and%20home/residential-utility-services/residential-electricity-services/saving-electricity</a><br><br>2. Switch to more <strong>efficient light bulbs </strong>and taps to reduce usage and costs.<br><br>3. <strong>Your geyser:</strong> Turn the geyser temperature down to 60°C.<br><br>4. Switch to a <strong>prepaid electricity</strong> meter. It gives households better oversight on consumption with an in-home display, making budgeting easier. See how to here: <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Apply/Municipal-services/Electricity/apply-for-an-upgrade-to-a-new-prepaid-electricity-meter">https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Apply/Municipal-services/Electricity/apply-for-an-upgrade-to-a-new-prepaid-electricity-meter</a><br><br>5. <strong>Buying electricity in bulk is not cheaper.</strong> Buy only what you need in a given month – this will keep your costs down. When buying in bulk, you move onto the second block for units above the monthly usage threshold, which is more expensive. <br> <br>6. <strong>Register for eBilling</strong> to stay on top of municipal accounts. Customers who receive their bills via email or by using eServices have more control over their accounts. See how to here: <a href="https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Register/eservices-and-municipal-accounts/Register-for-e-billing">https://www.capetown.gov.za/City-Connect/Register/eservices-and-municipal-accounts/Register-for-e-billing</a>. Customers may also email <a href="mailto:help.uces@capetown.gov.za">help.uces@capetown.gov.za</a> and request to be registered for eBilling. <br> <br>7. <strong>Remember:</strong> the new municipal financial year starts from 1 July. Cost-reflective changes can often be seen in bills from July onwards. Generally, these are most noticeable in the electricity price due to Eskom’s increase and households typically using more energy in the winter months. If you use more, you pay more. The City does its utmost to buffer customers as much as possible from price increases. </p><p>‘The City’s rates and services charges remain among the lowest in South Africa. Income from rates and services is used for service delivery and there is no planned profit on the income. Any additional money recovered goes into paying for shared services. From the City’s side, we continue to do all in our power to cut costs, protect our customers and do more with what we have. Households also have options to reduce costs and enhance control over their expenditure,’ said Councillor Mbandezi. </p><p> <strong>Help for households and businesses </strong> <br> <strong>Debt write-off incentive </strong> <br> <strong>Visit</strong>: <a href="https://bit.ly/debtwrittenoff">https://bit.ly/debtwrittenoff</a> <br> <br><strong>For rates or services relief</strong><br><strong>Visit: </strong> <a href="https://bit.ly/applyrelief">https://bit.ly/applyrelief</a> or a City customer office.<br><strong>Email: </strong> <a href="mailto:indigent.relief@capetown.gov.za">indigent.relief@capetown.gov.za</a> <br> <br><strong>Pensioner rates relief</strong><br>Pensioners 60 years or older and people who receive social grants earning not more than R17 500 may qualify for a rates rebate of between 10% and 100%. They are invited to go to the nearest City customer care office or send an email to <a href="mailto:rates.rebate@capetown.gov.za">rates.rebate@capetown.gov.za</a>. For more information on how to apply for pensioner support: <a href="https://bit.ly/applyseniorsupport">https://bit.ly/applyseniorsupport</a><br> <br><strong>Rental housing relief</strong><br>If you are renting a community residential unit from the City, you may also apply for additional financial support if you are struggling to pay your rent and qualify for rental housing relief.<br><strong>Human Settlements Directorate's Call Centre:</strong> 021 444 0333 or <strong>WhatsApp:</strong> 063 299 9927<br> <br><strong>For payment arrangements</strong><br><strong>Visit</strong>: <a href="https://bit.ly/arrangepaymentplan">https://bit.ly/arrangepaymentplan</a> <br> <strong>Email:</strong> <a href="mailto:Payment.arrangements@capetown.gov.za">Payment.arrangements@capetown.gov.za</a><br> <br><strong>Businesses in financial hardship</strong> due to the economic pressure from the Covid-19 lockdown can approach the City for relief based on the merits of each application.<br><strong>Email</strong>: <a href="mailto:Covid19.Relief@capetown.gov.za">Covid19.Relief@capetown.gov.za</a><br> </p><p> <strong>End</strong></p>2022-03-17T22:00:00ZGP0|#1d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70;L0|#01d539e44-7c8c-4646-887d-386dc1d95d70|City news;GTSet|#62efe227-07aa-45e7-944c-ceebacca891dGP0|#191b1b12-4267-46d3-a6e7-02be3df25e7a;L0|#0191b1b12-4267-46d3-a6e7-02be3df25e7a|budget;GTSet|#2e3de6c1-9951-4747-8f53-470629a399bb;GP0|#02b5c0d1-db9a-49fa-8336-49812c28d9e1;L0|#002b5c0d1-db9a-49fa-8336-49812c28d9e1|Saving;GP0|#40069447-c9f4-4b4c-a0a9-22fcbdcd3778;L0|#040069447-c9f4-4b4c-a0a9-22fcbdcd3778|rates10

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