Protest over ’heartless’ manner in which elderly are being moved from Cape Flats old-age homes

In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today. Picture: Vanessa Adrianse
In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today. Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

Cape Town – The Cape Peninsula Organisation for the Aged (CPOA) has been slated over the ’’heartless’’ manner in which it has gone about closing three old-age homes on the Cape Flats due to financial constraints brought on by the Covid-19 lockdown.

In protest over the CPOA’s old-age homes being closed down, a peaceful picket is being held at Nerina Place in Bishop Lavis today, with only 50 people taking part due to Covid-19 lockdown regulations. Nerina Place has about 100 residents.

The protesters comprise residents from Bishop Lavis, Bonteheuwel and Heideveld.

The Nerina Place residents are due to be moved tomorrow and the protesters want it to be suspended with immediate effect. They are also calling for a thorough audit to be done of the CPOA’s books, urging the government to step in immediately.

Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

The CPOA said in a statement last month Nerina Place, Lilyhaven Place in Bonteheuwel and Oakhaven in Heideveld are being shut down. Despite subsidies from the Department of Social Development, the CPOA said it has accumulated losses amounting to R265 million in the past 10 years.

It added that ’’after long and intensive discussions between senior management and the board of directors, CPOA has decided it must close three of its five welfare homes’’.

Vanessa Adrianse, from Heideveldt Mothers For Justice, is incensed by the fact that there has been no consultation with the community regarding the old-age homes being closed down.

Adrianse believes it is tantamount to an “eviction’’. She says the community would have found a solution had they been consulted.

’’All the community organisations in Heideveld have partnered on this protest. Why must the elderly be moved during the heart of the Covid pandemic? The CPOA is heartless and there has been no consultation with the community organisations.

Picture: Vanessa Adrianse

’’Where are they taking these people? We haven’t been informed. If they are closing down because of a lack of funding, the CPOA could have come and spoken to us and we could have made a plan. We could have taken over and applied to government for assistance.

’’The old people are sitting on the stoep of the old-age home at the moment and pleading with us to prevent them from being evicted. Saying the elderly are being ’moved’ is just a nice way of saying they are being evicted, because if someone doesn’t want to go, then you force them.

’’Sometimes their families don’t care about them any more and then after so many years, they become each other’s family.

’’They don’t want to be moved. They are happy here. Some of them are not from Bishop Lavis and they get visits like once every two months. Now they are moving further away.

’’Surely they won’t have place for everyone in one place. If they are all going to one place, why move them from a place where they are comfortable.

“If there is enough funding to take them to another place, then why don’t they use the funds to keep them here.

“Other questions that need answering are about what will happen to the pension and income of the old people here. Why not use that pension to help sustain them?’’

There is also a concern that if they don’t rent out the rooms to people in the area when it closes down, gangsters will vandalise the building and people in the area won’t be safe.

“That is why we are protesting here today, to highlight all these issues,’’ said Adrianse.

Reprinted from IOL

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*Simon Dippenaar & Associates, Inc. is a Cape Town law firm of specialist eviction lawyers, and now operating in Johannesburg and Durban, helping both landlords and tenants with the eviction process. Contact one of our attorneys on 086 099 5146 or if you need advice on the eviction process or want to know the cost of eviction.

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