Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis, Lilyhaven Place in Bonteheuwel and Oakhaven in Heideveld will be shut down by the The Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged (CPOA), reports the Daily Voice. The reason for the closure is said to be financial issues caused by the lockdown.
About 300 residents and families have been affected, says the publication. This raises concerns about the wellbeing of the elderly in the Cape Flats.
The CPOA states that even though subsidies are provided to them by the Department of Social Development, they have still experienced losses of R265 million over the last ten years.
The organisations said that three of their five welfare homes were to close. This was decided after “long and intensive discussions” took place between senior management and the board of directors, says the publication.
“This decision was not taken lightly, but the ongoing financial pressure due to the Covid-19 pandemic has made it very clear that operating five sub-economic homes with a combined annual deficit of R33.5m is financially not sustainable for the company,” said CPOA.
Henriette Abrahams, the chairperson for the Bonteheuwel Development Forum, stated that the news of the closure was only made known on Tuesday.
“With the current overcrowding in our areas, the physical, emotional and economic abuse of our elderly, the CPOA is declaring war on our vulnerable and aged,” said Abrahams.
“We as communities have not been consulted on the rationale for such a decision and alternative accommodation has not been discussed with our communities.”
The publication states that spokesperson Amanda Davids from the Bishop Lavis Action Community said a meeting with the sister in charge of Nerina Place was requested. A meeting with members of the community will also take place because, according to Davids, “it was done without consultation with anyone.”
The CEO of CPOA, Dr Michael Zipp said, “CPOA is prepared to donate the three homes to NGOs either so that they can continue to be used as retirement facilities as going concerns or so that the buildings can be used for other welfare purposes.”
Social Development MEC Sharna Fernandez stated that the department would not be able to intervene as the homes are independently own and managed.
The department will, however, monitor the procedure and provide support.