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Maintenance and repairs at old age homes and retirement villages on City property will be undertaken by various Joburg departments.
A COMPREHENSIVE maintenance programme is being compiled for about 30 old age homes and retirement villages in Joburg so that the facilities can be repaired during 2011.

“Money for this purpose has been allocated in the recent adjustment budget of the City and there are teams from Johannesburg’s department of housing, City Power and Joburg Water moving from home to home collating information and working on quotations to enable them to start with maintenance work,” says Walter Melato, the acting executive director for housing.

The City is not responsible for running and managing any old age home or retirement village; it is, however, the owner of the property on which some 30 old age homes are built and is responsible for maintenance. For example, if a geyser bursts at one of these facilities, it will be repaired by the City.

Joburg provides the infrastructure and rooms at the old age homes, but not the frail care, food and medication, among other services. Running and management of the old age homes and retirement villages is the responsibility of the various owners or non-governmental organisations.

Over the years, some of these facilities have fallen into disrepair and in many cases the owners or managers have not told the City about broken fixtures.

“This will now be corrected because we are carrying out proactive inspections of these properties and [will] attend to repair work that may have been delayed by the procurement process and subsequent consolidation of quotes, for the starting with repairs after adjustment of the budget in February this year,” says Melato.

Joburg Water officials are inspecting the water infrastructure on the properties; City Power officials are looking at the safety of all electrical fixtures; and the housing department is evaluating the structures and will do repairs where necessary.

“We call on owners and residents of the old age homes to also assist this process by informing the City proactively about any repairs that need to be carried out,” says Melato. “Budgets are available and there is no need for any council-managed facility to fall into a state of disrepair.”

The City provides a range of services for the elderly, such as the Expanded Social Package that supports needy households through free basic water and electricity, as well as the Vulnerable Household Support Programme that gives support in the form of nutrition, home-based care training, access to education and security.

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