Jack Bloom MPL

DA Gauteng Health Spokesman

Homes for the mentally disabled face closure because the Gauteng Health Department has not paid their grants.

This includes the Little Eden Society that cares for 300 mentally handicapped adults and children at homes in Edenvale and Bapsfontein.

They were last paid their monthly maintenance subsidy in December 2011, and are now owed R2.5 million.

If Little Eden is forced to close many of its residents will need to be placed elsewhere and 257 members of staff will lose their jobs.

The Vita Nova centre in Springs has 115 severely mentally handicapped residents and also faces closure because of non-payments.

Other mental health NGOs are struggling, running short of food and appealing for donations.

It is utterly appalling that the weakest members of society are suffering because of the financial mismanagement of the Gauteng Health Department.

The Department must pay them as soon as possible, otherwise helpless people will lose the caring shelter that they now have.

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