The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development has set aside over R13 million to construct a fully fledged retirement home at KwaSwayimane under uMshwathi Municipality, KZN Midlands.
The construction of the retirement home follows an appeal by senior citizens to the social development MEC, Nonhlanhla Khoza.
The area has been plagued by a number of cases of elder sexual abuse since 2012, leading the department to build a R22.3 million child care centre.
During a community dialogue in uMshwathi, organized by the department in 2020, older people in the area pleaded with the government to protect them from criminals and ensure they are not neglected.
Older people expressed concern that they were safe during the day, but suffered most attacks at night.
This week, Khoza embarked on the Operation Siyahlola watchdog program, where she visited KwaSwayimane’s day care center for the elderly.
The program, which was launched by KwaZulu-Natal Prime Minister Sihle Zikalala in 2020, aims to improve government performance and ensure that the experience of government goods and services is enjoyable, positive and leaves a lasting impression. of the government.
Khoza said the department decided to build a daycare center after a number of campaigns to raise awareness about elder abuse and neglect.
She said she was pleased with the reconfiguration of the daycare, which was supposed to be completed to accommodate a few elderly people.
However, the MEC said it was not happy that the first phase to start welcoming residents had not started.
“We should talk about the well-being and safety of the residents who are already occupying the first phase of the project,” she said.
Khoza cracked the whip on government officials and contractors for delaying the implementation of the first phase of the project.
She warned that while the government is providing opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs, it is imperative that they produce good quality work.
“It is important to master the first phase, because we are going to build the second phase of a residence for the elderly that can accommodate more than 100 residents. We cannot tolerate poor quality workmanship in building structures intended for occupancy by the elderly. It is imperative that the house is well equipped to care for the sick,” Khoza said.
Khoza expressed his gratitude to the Gcumisa clan for providing land to build a fully-fledged facility to be occupied by elderly people.
The Mayor of Umshwati Local Municipality, Mandla Zondi, who accompanied Khoza, commended the department for its commitment to protecting people’s lives.
“We are grateful that the department has been consistent in ensuring that even the municipality is aware of the plan. We are grateful that in Umgungundlovu district, as the local municipality of Umshwati, we have been chosen to house this first of its kind structure for the elderly,” said Zondi.
Zondi added that local leaders would be delighted if the department recruited qualified staff. [to work in the institution]to ensure that the facility operates in a professional manner.
“With the Operation Siyahlola program, as a government, we aim to make the provision of goods and services by the government enjoyable. We are a government that wants to leave a lasting impression by addressing the imbalances of the past,” said the mayor.
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The facility is expected to be open for occupancy by March 1, 2022. – SAnews.