It is fitting that we announce the transfer of Old Age Homes to the municipality during the birth month of our late icon, Tata Nelson Mandela Bay whom our City is named after. The way we take care of the elderly and the treatment we give to them is a true reflection of who we are as the people. We must all as the people of the City always strive to live according to the ideals of Tata Nelson Mandela, who cared a lot about the people, vulnerable more especially the children and the elderly.
Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Executive Mayor Danny Jordaan said while addressing about 500 elderly people at the Feathermakert Hall during a celebration ceremony to mark the official transfer of Old Age Homes to the municipality.
Old Age Homes have in the past been run by Non-Governmental Organisations. When Executive Mayor, Danny Jordaan took office last year, the poor conditions of the Old Age Homes were one of the issues he raised sharphly.
He committed to deal with this issue as a priority. Part of this commitment was to transfer these homes to the municipality with the intention of improving their conditions and the well-being of the elderly. Under the municipality Human Settlements Directorate renovation work had already started at some of these homes with the assistance of other government departments, NGOs and private sector, specifically the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber and the Community Chest
Among the problems identified during the assessment processes were: leaking roofs, exposed electrical wires, non-functional geysers and inadequate perimeter fencing, blocked drainage facilities and infrastructure problems.
The Directorate prioritised the fencing of perimeters and the renovation of the 2 burnt down units at Adcock Homes. Hygiene and sanitation products have already been delivered to the homes. Four cleaning staff members will be allocated to each and every home to ensure that the facilities are clean at all times. Small toilets will be attached to the units of the elderly, which will prevent them from walking long distances to use the existing semi-detached toilet system.
Application forms and new lease agreements will be distributed to the residents of the homes, ensuring that the agreement will be kept strictly between the residents and the municipality, when it comes to payment of rental and queries.
One of the elderly, Peter Johnson from Elizabeth Stuurman Old Age Homes said: “I feel very pleased that the Municipality will be taking over the management of our homes. For years we’ve had conflict with the way things were being run and the tension it has brought amongst residents. I can only wait and hope for the best. I am grateful to Danny Jordaan for his way of dealing with our matters.”
Brenda Plaatjies from Bethelsdorp Old Aged Home also expressed her gratitude. “We are looking forward to the new plans and everything the Mayor shared with us today. Recently we had a big burglary at our homes where valuable items were stolen out of a few residents’ units. This was because we had no securities. So we are looking forward to having securities 24/7, thanks to the Municipality.”
The Executive Mayor promised to visit the Old Age Homes on a regular basis to assess the work that is being done. “This celebration today is not the last day that you see and interact with me. More intimate interaction at your homes where you stay will continue with me and our leadership collective. We will work together to bring back the dignity that you have lost through years of ill treatment and lack of compassion that you have received,” said Executive Mayor Jordaan.
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