Plans for golden years

2016-07-12 11:38

Princess Vlei Civic Association members are overjoyed that a retirement village they always dreamed of may only be a few steps away.

Following their annual general meeting on Thursday 30 June, the association reported they are making progress in getting started with the retirement village. The idea came about in 1997 and now it’s taking shape. They are planning to build the retirement village in Keswick Road, Elfindale, and it will be called Keswick Retirement Village.

Jan Burger, chairperson of the association, says there is still more to be done, but they can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“This project has been on our minds since 1997. We approached the council and told them what we wanted to do but it was a very long wait with no answer. We had to do it again and again for them to finally say it’s a good idea,” says Burger.

The areas under the Princess Vlei Civic Association don’t have a retirement home and the elderly often have to move to other areas.

“We want the retired people to feel cared for as well. They were moved out of their areas during the Apartheid era. They got their land back, however, now that they are old they have to move out of the area again so that they can move into old age homes in other areas because we don’t have such a facility here. This is not what we want. We want a more comfortable place in an area that they have built their livelihood so that they don’t have to go far. We want it to be decent and them to feel at home,” adds Burger.

Though nothing is final yet, they are hoping that the retirement village will have over 50 houses.

The report about the retirement centre states that the City needs to go into partnership with the Princess Vlei Civic Association. However, they are worried that the City may want to retain ownership of the land.

David Stober, a member of the association, says they don’t have a lot of retirement homes in non-white areas as “it’s not in (their) culture” and they want to change that.

“Mostly parents stay with children and grandchildren. There is no such a thing as a retirement home in our culture. We want to make things different; help them have a place of their own where they can enjoy their golden years. Our areas have a lot of pensioners and not all of them are well-off, so this will be something good for them,” he says.

Stober adds that a lot still needs to be done to get funding.

“Everything seems to be in place, but there is still a long way to go. Now we are having a situation where some funders are pulling out because the City wants to retain ownership (of the land). The land ownership is a bit of a problem – people don’t want to put money into something when a few years done the line the City might say it’s their land and they have other plans for it. We have to meet and see how we will go about it. If we get that ironed out, everything is set.”

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