THE Boikhuco Old Age Centre in Bloemfontein has received R2,8 million from the National Lottery Commission (NLC) to keep it afloat. This worthy donation was presented jointly by the Lottery and the Free State Department of Social Development at a function held on 22 July at the centre in Bochabela. Lerato Tlhapuletsa, departmental spokesperson, said the funding arose from cooperation involving the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) and non-governmental organisations in creating an environment to promote the development of older persons and the protection of their rights. “The care and protection of older persons is everybody’s responsibility. The department is the custodian of the Older Persons Act (Act 13 of 2006) in dealing with the plight of older persons who are vulnerable and those who are living in poverty,” said Tlhapuletsa. She said the donation would help the Boikhuco Centre address some of its financial requirements for personnel, maintenance, groceries and the medical needs of the residents. Thokozile Mandyu, Lottery manager in the Free State, said the Boikhuco Centre qualified for funding due to a good financial track record, reflecting accountability and fruitful expenditure. “The Boikhuco Centre has shown to be a disciplined organisation in managing its affairs, “said Mandyu. She said the Lottery has received approximately 18 000 applications for funding. “From the Free State, we have received 1 500 and the Boikhuco track record was amongst those meeting the requirements,” said Mandyu.Sassa has also donated blankets to the old aged home at the centre.The donation has been well received and Christian Mosala, the Boikhuco Centre manager, expressed her appreciation.“We have been doing well due to the assistance we are receiving. We have managed to build seven retirement homes and purchase new vehicles which we are looking well after,” said Mosala. The seven retirement houses are understood to be part of income generating projects which keep the centre afloat. The centre caters for 115 aged persons (80 boarding and 35 on day care) and has a staff of 59. The staff includes drivers, nurses and cleaning supervisors. The much-needed financial injection came in the wake of the Boikhuco Centre’s distress in negotiating wage increases for employees, who have threatened to intensify their protest over an increase of R700. The workers have been protesting during tea and lunch time since the beginning of July.