The 2018 public service wage agreement (PSCBC Resolution 1/2018) inter alia provided for the so-called delinking of spouses for purposes of the Housing Allowance, which meant that if both spouses were in the employ of the public service, both could qualify for the allowance.

In terms of the agreement, the implementation of this provision was to be phased in. As of 1 September 2018 it became applicable to employees on salary levels 1-5 (i.e. up to a salary of R 192 666 p.a. at the time). The final cohort, salary levels 6-12 (current salaries R 208 584 – R 1 023 645 p.a.), will become eligible for the benefit with effect from 1 September 2019.

Please note that to access the benefit an employee would have to formally apply to the employer by completing the relevant application form (see Annexure H of the “Determination and Directive on the Housing Allowance for Employees in the Public Service” on the following link :
http://www.dpsa.gov.za/dpsa2g/documents/cos/2018/17_3_p_9_11_2018_directive.pdf) 

One of the requirements to qualify for the Housing Allowance, as a home-owner, is that the house must be registered (or also registered) in the name of the employee applying for the allowance. In other words where both employees work for the public service, the house should be registered in both their names. However, where such employees are married in community of property and the house is registered in the name of one of the spouses only, the other spouse may still apply for the housing allowance by submitting the title deed (which will be in the name of his/her spouse), together with a marriage certificate indicating that his or her marriage is in community of property, or if no such indication is given, a marriage certificate plus an affidavit declaring that his or her marriage is in community of property.

Because of the technicalities involved, members who wish to utilise the delinking provision with effect from 1 September 2019, are advised to obtain the necessary advice and assistance from the HR sections of their Departments.