The MEC for Social Development, Nancy Sihlwayi, must explain the reasoning behind her department’s inhumane decision to terminate their contract with the only two Life Esidimeni Frail Care Centres in the province.
I have spoken and written to MEC Sihlwayi and to the chairperson of the legislature’s portfolio committee on social development, Christian Martin, for urgent clarity in this regard. The MEC could not provide a clear response when I spoke to her. For my letter, click here.
Our elderly and young people in need of frail- and mental care cannot simply be abandoned to an uncertain future. This is a gross abuse of human rights. The DA will fight this tooth and nail.
About 240 of the frailest in our society and their families are living in fear of the future. We cannot allow a similar situation as in Gauteng, where 36 patients died after they were dumped at a Non-Governmental Organisation. MEC Sihlwayi must provide details of where the patients will be sent who are currently being looked after at Life Esidimeni Algoa Frail Care Centre in Bethelsdorp and the Lorraine Frail Care Centre.
I have received numerous phone calls from distressed members of the public about the rumoured closure of these two facilities. It is unfair and uncaring of the department of social development not to have consulted and communicated a clear message to all affected parties in this regard.
There is a major shortage of subsidised and affordable frail care facilities in the Eastern Cape. The two Life facilities are the only ones that still regularly admit persons with the limited income of a social pension.
People in frail care require full-time nursing assistance. The DA will not rest until we are assured that these patients are treated with dignity and with respect.
Kobus Botha, MPL
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