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[LISTEN] Old age homes struggling to stay afloat

Written by: Neo Koza

GroundUp has reported on the plight of some old age homes that have not received their usual subsidy from government and are struggling to stay afloat.

The publication states that "hundreds of organisations in the Eastern Cape and some in the North West province that perform social work on behalf of the government have not been paid their subsidies since March. Others, in North West, Limpopo, and Mpumalanga, have faced subsidy cuts of up to 25%, without consultation and with no reason given."

Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser) research associate Lisa Vetten says it varies with each province.

If you are in the Free State or Northern Cape, you get your subsidy on time and things are manageable. If you are in the Eastern Cape, well, as of today there have been no payments to organisations since the 1st of April. The situation, we understand from some organisations, is that it's the staff members and staff members' families who are providing food in order to try and keep centres open and to keep people supported.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

Vetten says this is a historic problem in the Eastern Cape.

We can date it to at least 2017, there is always an excuse. First, it's a new system that doesn't work, then it's a delay and they are getting on to it, now it's COVID-19. This is not just a COVID-19 crisis, it's long-standing and it really does point to the need to look at the Eastern Cape system.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

The other issue that needs to be looked at is the nature of the contracts that they sign with organisations which gives them very little recourse. In fact they don't even commit to a date by which they will pay organisations, which makes it very difficult for organisations to even go to court and demand payment.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

National (department) should be able to step in and start demanding some kind of response to what should be done.

Lisa Vetten, Research associate - Wits Institute For Social Economic Research (Wiser)

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This article first appeared on 702 : [LISTEN] Old age homes struggling to stay afloat




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