Team comes to DJ Sobey home’s rescue

In December, the GO! & Express reported that DJ Sobey Old Age Home was facing closure due to the failure of the department of social development (DSD) to pay their grants for months on end (‘DJ Sobey facing closure’, December 3 2020).

According to DJ Sobey spokesperson John Bennet, the article generated a lot of interest among East London residents and resulted in offers to help the home.

One such offer came from Garth van Heerden, who formed a task team along with Zeemeni Projects and Consulting director Joe Japhta, local businessman and community activist Schalk van der Sandt and ward councillor Derrick Green.

Together, they have managed to raise more than R80,000 since December.

“After the initial drive [in December], we’re now embarking on a second phase to increase the number of regular monthly donors, which at the moment stands at 18,” van Heerden said.

“In the next 90 days, we want to increase that to 300 monthly donors with a minimum of R50 [per month].”

Bennet thanked the team for their hard work and said there was a “renewed spirit of belief and confidence” in the home’s management.

“This confidence in the future is a direct result of the intervention of experienced and committed individuals from the community who have come forward to assist the beleaguered institution.

“A special word of appreciation must go to the staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure the health and happiness of the aged and frail residents in their care.

“Our gratitude is also extended to those organisations and individuals who have supported the home over many years,” he said.

Those looking to find out more information or to donate to DJ Sobey Old Age Home can contact the administrator at 043-733-8026 or get in touch with van Heerden over phone at 082-373-6482 and email at


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