Answer to a question from a reader

Can I apply for an RDP house if I don't have an ID?

The short answer

No. IDs are not being issued during the pandemic, so you may need legal help

The whole question

Dear Athalie

I am unemployed. My partner and I live with our children in a relative's house. They are abusing us. We want to apply for RDP but I do not have an ID because I am not working. I have my passport but the municipality won't let me in. What can I do?

The long answer

The fact that you are not working should not prevent you from getting an ID, but in January 2021 Home Affairs suspended applications for Smart ID cards except for matric students, because of high levels of infection in their officials.

In order to apply for an RDP house, you will need an ID, so perhaps you should focus on getting that out of the way first. You could ask for advice about how best to go about it from a paralegal organisation like the Black Sash. They have got a national toll-free helpline for free paralegal assistance: 072 66 33 739

You can apply for an RDP house if you are:

  • A South African citizen

  • Over 21 and mentally competent to sign a contract

  • Married or living with a partner, or single and have dependants (single military veterans or aged people without dependents also qualify)

  • Earn less than R3,500 per month per household (so, if two people in your family earn and these earnings amount to more than R3,500 per month you will not qualify)

  • A first-time government subsidy recipient

  • A first-time homeowner

If you are disabled you are supposed to be given preference and your house is supposed to be adapted to meet your needs.

To apply for an RDP house, you need to take the following documents to a provincial office of the Department of Human Settlement, or your municipal offices:

  • Applicant and spouse’s identity documents (green book or ID card)

  • Certified copies of birth certificates of children

  • Proof of income if working, e.g. salary slip

You will be asked to fill in a housing subsidy application form. Depending on your province or municipality, you will then be registered on the National Housing Needs Register or your Municipal Housing Demands Database. This is a waiting list. Once the project is finalised and the houses built, you will be given keys and a title deed to your home, but it can take many years.

Wishing you the best,

Answered on March 3, 2021, 11:45 a.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.