Perceptions of the financial sustainability of an indigent policy in a selected municipality in the western cape, South Africa

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The eradication of poverty is an important priority for the South African government. The Constitution makes provision for vulnerable households and, therefore, local government has to develop policies to address the needs of the poor. Municipalities developed and adopted Indigent Policies to ensure that the poor households have access to essential basic services. This led the researcher to investigate what challenges are related to the financial sustainability of the Indigent Policy in its implementation process at the City of Cape Town for the period from 2003 to 2016. This study followed a qualitative research approach. Data were collected by conducting in-depth interviews. The participants were selected, because they had access to the most recent information that relates to the Indigent Policy. The researcher respected the rights of participants by allowing them the freedom to withdraw at any stage of the research study, ensuring confidentiality, ensuring anonymity, ensuring fair treatment and protecting the participants from any harm and discomfort throughout the research study. The researcher is of the opinion that all of the respondents are confident that the Indigent Policy is sustainable. However, should it become too expensive for the City of Cape Town to maintain the Indigent Policy, it could result in the budget of some other services being reprioritized. It is recommended that the City of Cape Town develops a beneficiary system for qualified indigents to allow them to receive additional benefits from other City of Cape Town facilities such as libraries, swimming pools and the MyCiTi bus services.

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