Elderly woman grabs mic and gives deputy minister a piece of her mind

2017-11-17 21:25
Khayelitsha Imbizo (Jenni Evans, News24)

Khayelitsha Imbizo (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town – An elderly woman with a crutch, who grew tired of listening to the Deputy Minister of Human Settlements at a community meeting in Khayelitsha on Friday, grabbed a roving microphone and interrupted the speech to complain about the manner in which the elderly were treated.

"Old people are not being cared for. They have been waiting for a long time," the woman said as she spoke over Deputy Minister Zoe Kota-Fredericks ' address.

Before Kota-Fredericks was interrupted she expressed hope that someone would sponsor a programme for battery-powered wheelchairs.

The woman later disappeared into the crowd at the OR Tambo Hall, but not before bewildered attendees scoured the room to try and catch a glimpse of her.

She was spotted in a public gallery, along with a row of fellow elderly women.

The meeting was held so that the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) could give residents feedback on what the government had done for them.

Deputy Minister of Public Service and Administration Dipuo Letsatsi-Duba was not available for the event and Kota-Fredericks had been brought in as a substitute.

The meeting followed a visit in May when residents accused the government of only caring about them before elections.

Housing, rehab and police

Residents wanted to see that their complaints were being attended to, which include grievances about a lack of sanitation, quality housing, substance abuse, safety, a need for more policing, and a lack of recreational parks.

DPSA Project Director Metsantika Seopela said they had been gathering information and conducting site inspections, adding that they could report that the City of Cape Town had prioritised five informal settlements for sanitation and basic services upgrades over the next three years.

He urged residents to register with the ward councillor to find out about programmes and facilities that could be useful to them, such as the 168 government-subsidised Early Childhood Development centres run by NGOs in the area, and the 57 parks in the community.

He said the community needed to look after some of the parks so that children could play in them, and urged parents to keep their children safe at all times.

Residents could obtain information on centres for substance abuse treatment which were situated in three different areas within Khayelitsha, including a Matrix outpatient drug treatment centre in Town 2.

Seopela also urged residents to fill in a form at the job-seekers' registration table at the exhibition section of the hall.

He punted the City of Cape Town's Game Changer programme, which encourages skills development, and said that the government was looking into the late- or non-payment of Community Works Programme employees.

When the roving microphone was sent around, there were impassioned pleas for housing, more drug rehabilitation facilities and more police.

Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery

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