Jean van Schalkwyk, spokeswoman for Musgrave Park, Diep River
I would like to expose the Democratic Alliance (DA), the provincial leader and the mayor for a lack of interest in the seniors at Musgrave Park. I sent emails to the mayor’s office with grievances and re-quested an audience with her. This was not directly refused but was never mentioned in her response. All she did was contact Communicare and forward the negative responses that they had sent to her.
They are supposed to practise safe and caring for the elderly but this is not happening.
Here are the grievances that were sent to the Equality Court:
* Electricity is charged at high consumption rates and seniors get no free units;
* Market-related rents apply when residents are diagnosed with an illness restricting them from using stairs. The difference is about R1 000 and this is for the same sized unit, in the same complex;
* Health and safety: uneven paving, dampness, etc all health risks. The rent goes up every year but no maintenance gets done;
Parking fees – this does not reflect on leases but are just imple-mented.
These are pensioners who live off a minimum amount of money. I appeal to you to expose those who are ripping off the seniors and the political parties who have no compassion for the elders.
* Zara Nicholson, spokeswoman to Executive Mayor Patricia de Lille, responds:
We hear the writer’s concerns and responded to the letter sent to the mayor’s office last year.
The City of Cape Town places a special focus on vulnerable groups, including senior citizens and provides a range of services to assist senior citizens as much as we can.
I urge the writer to make contact with our Social Development directorate to enquire about the range of services we offer.
As indicated in our previous response, Musgrave Park and Dreyersdal are not Social Housing Projects and not part of the City’s Partnership Agreement with Communicare.
This is a privately run entity of which the City has no control over.
We endeavoured to get responses to theconcerns raised and these were relayed in our response.
In terms of electricity, we are bound by what our policy provisions state. These policy provisions are developed in order to protect the majority of the customers. While we try to accommodate the exceptions as best we can (thus the exemption clauses that exist within the policy), any such exemption needs to be able to be applied administratively and fairly across all customers, without setting a precedent that could jeopardise the financial sustainability of the Utilities Services as a whole.
The City understands the needs of our vulnerable citizens and I would encourage the writer to engage with the management of Musgrave Park to enquire about our indigent grants policy to see whether the facility qualifies and would encourage them apply if they do.
* This letter was also sent to Communicare, but by the time this edition went to print, they had not yet responded.