Blankets stolen from dilapidated elderly home in Joburg

2016-05-17 09:15
A broken door at the Radio Cottage old age home (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

A broken door at the Radio Cottage old age home (Iavan Pijoos, News24)

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Johannesburg - The last time soft-spoken 63-year-old Lynette Beck went out to visit her daughter, her blankets and curtains were stolen from her flat at the dilapidated Radio Cottage home for the elderly.

"You are supposed to be safe here at the old age home, but I don't feel safe at all now," the frail-looking Beck told News24, pointing to the door she had to fix herself after its handle was damaged during the break-in at the home in Jan Hofmeyer, Johannesburg, just a few metres from a bottle store and a tavern.

But all is not lost for Beck. After reading about the neglect at the home, the charity organisation Just Love jumped in and helped.

The organisation visited Radio Cottage with News24 this past weekend to assess what maintenance work needed to be done.

Beck was one of many residents extremely grateful for the help, after many requests to the City of Joburg went unanswered.

She said she had to pay out of her own pocket to install a sliding bolt on the door after the break-in.

"About three weeks ago, they broke into my unit. They stole all my blankets and my curtains. They just left me with one blanket that I've got on my bed and one set of curtains that I've got on my window.

"They stole pillow cases. They stole my heater," she said emphasising that as petty as the theft seemed, she still felt unsafe.

"I can't go to my daughter to visit anymore."

Help is on the way

A member of the Just Love organisation, Veronica Shipwanya, said they wanted to improve communities that had been forgotten.

"When we see a dire need in a community, we try and see how far our resources and skills can go."

She said the organisation would discuss this week how it could help, and would start a campaign to collect blankets for the 48 elderly residents. Their target was to collect 500 blankets.

- If you want to donate blankets to the home, you can drop them off at Media Park's reception area at 69 Kingsway avenue, Auckland Park, Johannesburg

News24 reported in March that some of the residents had to endure power cuts, toilets that did not flush, and had to drag their stoves into a lounge in order to reach a working plug.

Many of the elderly residents could not use the toilet at night because the light bulb had not been replaced, leaving the passage pitch black.

Due to the height of the ceiling, none of the tenants could replace the bulbs themselves.

About three months ago, the department of housing said they would do the repairs, but nothing had been done.


(Iavan Pijoos, News24)


(Iavan Pijoos, News24)


(Iavan Pijoos, News24)


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