Mohlakeng Old Age Home still stands empty with no beneficiaries while the most vulnerable community members are not benefiting from this much-needed facility that is meant to provide social services and accommodation.
This facility was completed in 2016 and the Gauteng Department of Social Development launched it on 26 April 2019. Mohlakeng Old Age Home still does not have any beneficiaries despite the department training 24 people and promising that they will be employed at this facility which has not yet happened.
These vulnerable people that have been promised employment were only fed lies and dumped by the department. They were paid subminimum wages with promises that once the facility is open, they would be paid decent salaries.
It was only after going to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) that the department was forced to pay the employee’s retrenchment packages.
The department has shifted blame for not utilizing this facility to not receiving an Occupation Certificate for the building. Surely, getting an Occupation Certificate cannot take so many years.
Despite a spectacular launch, the expensive white elephant is still standing without any residents, the gardens are overrun, the grass is knee-high, and nobody seems to care what is going to happen with this over R43 million building.
This shows that the department has no intention of assisting the vulnerable and old people in our communities but is only interested in spending the money as fast as possible to enrich their politically aligned allies through the issuing of tenders.
The DA demands that the Gauteng MEC for Social Development, Mbali Hlophe, speed up the process of fixing the infrastructure glitches to ensure that this building complies with the standard building regulations so that it can be issued with an Occupational Certificate.
Furthermore, the DA will be lobbying the Gauteng Provincial Government to conduct a forensic audit of all the completed infrastructure projects to determine whether they have been issued with occupational certificates. This will help to ascertain the reasons why many of the completed infrastructure projects are not compliant and it will help to provide a permanent solution to the issue.
We will no longer tolerate a situation whereby completed infrastructure projects stand empty and do not benefit their residents.