By Thobekile Khumalo
THE Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has encouraged senior citizens over the age of 70 to apply for a rate rebate scheme that seeks to provide rates relief to vulnerable elderly residents in the city.
The scheme was introduced in May 2009 and has had a low turnout ever since.
In a statement released by Bulawayo Town Clerk, Christopher Dube qualifying senior citizens would be eligible for a 50 percent rebate.
“Prospective beneficiaries should apply at the City of Bulawayo Revenue Hall offices by completing an application form.
“Applicant’s details are then forwarded to Housing and Community Services Department for assessment by Social Workers of which the successful applicants are then recommended for a 50 percent rates rebate,” read the statement.
Dube added that applicants would be visited at home by Social Workers for assessment purposes.
“Applicants must be 70 years and above, own and be residing in the property registered under their name. Only those who are found to be vulnerable are recommended for assistance,” said Dube.
He added that the 50 percent rebate is on the rates component only, not the overall bill total.
An eldery citizen, Nkathazo Mabhena aged 76 from Lobengula told Newzimbabwe.com that she applied for the rebate scheme last year but nothing has been done since.
“I heard about the rebate scheme last year and immediately visited Council offices and applied. No follow up has been made ever since and my rates are still the same as everyone else. I am not sure whether they disqualified me or they are not living up to the word,” she said.