Social Development HOD must explain to Parliament on Old Age Home funding

By Lindy Wilson DA Social Development Portfolio Committee Member:

I have today written to the Chairperson of Parliament’s Social Development Committee requesting the committee to summon Limpopo Head of Department for Social Development, Ms Joyce Mashamba, to explain to Parliament how the Department of Social Welfare in Limpopo has neglected the health, wellbeing and dignity of elderly persons at the Loskop Old Age Home in Ephraim Mogale by withholding grant payments to the Old Age Home for over six months.

The Loskop Old Age facility is home to 66 residents who range in ages from 68 to 89, are frail, bedridden and showing signs of dementia. Despite having received subsidies from the Department for 9 years, no subsidies have been received from the Limpopo Department of Social Development for the last two quarters, leaving the home in severe financial straits.

They are now unable to continue operating, and have been advised by NEHAWU that the staff, who have not been paid, will go out on strike. Bills cannot be paid and the facility will soon have electricity cut, which will stop medical equipment that keeps patients alive.

The Head of Department must account for this disgraceful state of affairs at Loskop. Letters to the MEC, HOD and the National Minister have all gone unanswered. Now the official who is the accounting officer of the Department must provide answers.

The DA believes in a social security net for the most vulnerable in society – and proper funding, management and support from government is essential.