‘Community to blame for closure’

2018-07-20 06:00
PHOTO: siphelele nketoElderly residents at the Elonwabeni Old Aged Home will be moved to other facilities as the home’s licence to practice has been withdrawn.

PHOTO: siphelele nketoElderly residents at the Elonwabeni Old Aged Home will be moved to other facilities as the home’s licence to practice has been withdrawn.

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GRANDCHILDREN of the late Caroline Mnyaiza, from Kokstad, have blamed the community for the possible shutdown of the Elonwabeni Old Age Home saying that before their grandmother (Mnyaiza) died last year the home was still serving its purpose.

The old age home is the only place of safety for elderly people from Kokstad and surrounding areas.

A decision to move residents to other institutes was granted at a meeting with the Department of Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi last week.

Mnyaiza worked as a nurse for many years and, when she retired, she established the elderly home as non-profit organisation to assist in caring for elderly people who were in need.

“My grandmother loved elderly people, and her soul will not rest in peace if the institution is to be closed,” said grandchild Onele Mnyaiza.

The home has faced a number of challenges since the beginning of the year.

Financial mismanagement and funeral policies that were not paid for residents were some of the concerns highlighted by people earlier in the year. Among other pressing issues raised was residents not having access to power because the institution had failed to buy electricity.

Last month, a number of residents spoke their minds, informing the Fever about living conditions described as “torturous” in an article published on June 22.

They asked for intervention from government after talking to the Greater Kokstad Municipal mayor’s office.

“My grandmother used to walk from the old age home to Kokstad town to source funds for the benefit of elderly people. A number of people and businesses have sponsored the home through her efforts.

“When she retired, she wanted the community of Kokstad to pursue her vision of caring elderly people,” said Luzuko Mnyaiza.

When a decision to remove the elderly residents was taken last week, Councillor Lwando Madikizela from Bhongweni also blamed the community for not taking care of the institution, saying workers may perhaps lose jobs.

The home now operates without a manager.


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