DJ Sobey Old Age Home is facing the very real possibility of having to close down, largely due to the failure by the department of social development (DSD) to pay their subsidy.
According to committee member John Bennet, the department is supposed to pay them R2,000 per person which supplements the R2,000 each resident pays themselves.
However, the home has found itself in dire financial straits. On the one hand, Covid-19 has tragically taken a large number of residents, bringing the total of 72 residents to 45.
DJ Sobey is forbidden from accepting new residents due to the high risk of infection.
“They said they would review it once the numbers [of infected] have gone down but now there’s been a resurgence,” Bennet said.
On the other hand, making matters even worse is the fact that the DSD has repeatedly neglected to pay out the home’s government subsidy.
This isn’t a new problem. Letters sent to the department from DJ Sobey, which the GO! & Express has seen, date all the way back to 2017 with the same theme throughout: the home is not getting paid.
Bennet said they had reached out to BCM district manager Afika Siziba, but had not received any feedback.
“Nothing has come from them. They’re not prepared to commit in writing.”
The GO! & Express sent questions to Siziba who said she had passed them on to the relevant office. No further communication had been received from the department by print deadline.
Bennet said in the past, the home would hold fundraisers to boost their finances.
“[Fundraising] has also fallen away because we can’t have people congregating in a confined space,” he said.
DJ Sobey is asking East Londoners to donate in order to help the house continue its operations.
Donations can be made to the following account:D.J.Sobey Old Age HomeBank: NedbankAccount number: 1210235668Branch code: 121021