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INDIGENT HOUSEHOLDS IN FREE STATE URGED TO CLAIM FREE BASIC ELECTRICITY
MONDAY, 13 JULY 2020: A devastating side-effect of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly through the Free State, even amongst those who do not contract the disease – increased poverty.  Unfortunately, the incomes of many households are amongst the economic casualties of COVID-19.
One way to lessen the impact of the economic crisis on households is through Free Basic Electricity (FBE) – a longstanding government initiative implemented by Eskom and municipalities.  FBE is available to indigent households and aims to improve their quality of life. 
In the Free State, 15% of indigents identified by municipalities are unfortunately not collecting their FBE.  Of the 49 721 indigent Free State households identified by municipalities, only 42 369 are claiming their benefit. 
“It is sad to see that many households are not making use of aid that can have such a positive impact on their lives – either because they are unaware of the benefit or because they do not know how to collect it,” says Agnes Mlambo, Acting General Manager of Eskom in the Free State.  “Through raising awareness on this benefit, we wish to increase the level of collection and thereby relieve some of the strain experienced by low-income households.”
“We urge all customers who have been advised by their respective municipalities that they do qualify for the FBE benefit to not let this relief go to waste,” adds Mlambo.  To claim the benefit, customers should visit their nearest vendor.  Alternatively, USSD codes *130*869# or *130*269# are available to already configured customers to claim the benefit via a cell phone at no charge to the customer.
Eskom supplied customers who wish to ascertain whether they qualify for the FBE benefit should do so by contacting their local municipal office, local ward councillor or a Community Development Worker.
 
ENDS