Old age home faces unclear future

2018-02-02 06:00
Elonwabeni Old Age Home manager, Luvuyo Nongimba speaks to media about reports of irregularities.PHOTO: siphelele nketo

Elonwabeni Old Age Home manager, Luvuyo Nongimba speaks to media about reports of irregularities.PHOTO: siphelele nketo

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THE troubled Elonwabeni Old Age Home’s future is undecided and the elderly residents and Kokstad community are waiting for the Department of Social Development MEC Weziwe Thusi to decide whether to close the centre or solve its problems.

On Wednesday, a delegation from the department went to the home and meetings with stakeholders, who promised to report to the MEC for a decision, were held.

While the Department of Social Development officials were locked in a boardroom at the home, the elderly were patiently waiting for the outcome of the meeting.

Department of Social Development spokeswoman Ncumisa Ndelu told Fever the meeting was held with board members, the ward councillor, Greater Kokstad Municipality Speaker and the families of the elderly residents to give their side of the story about what is going on.

She said the meeting was successful and department officials will give their report to the MEC and Head of Department for decisions.

“The department is happy with the Kokstad community after they supported the home by using their own money to buy electricity for it,” said Ndelu.

Some of the allegations about the home include financial irregularities, dismissal of staff without following proper procedures, misuse of
vehicles, residents have no access to medication, safety of elderly people is compromised and the non-payment of their funeral policies.

The Kokstad community wrote letters to the department for intervention and called on the MEC to appoint new management and board members.

The home was established years ago by the late Dudu Mnyaiza and partners.

Speaking to Fever the home manager, Luvuyo Nongimba, said the allegations are untrue and all funeral policies have been paid and are up to date.

He pointed fingers at staff who are allegedly feeding the media false information.

“Social workers visit the elderly people all the time and are happy with our operations. Recently we discovered that 20 Sassa cards belonging to our elderly people were lost and their money was withdrawn at ATMs in Bizana, Johannesburg and the Free State, and we are investigating,” said Nongimba.

When Fever went to the home on Thursday, residents were having tea and food.

The institution is home to 67 elderly people from Kokstad and surrounding areas.

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