Ilinge elderly in dire need of aid

FORGET US NOT: Members of the Ilithalethu Adult Care Centre in Ilinge would like to see development in an area which has been struggling with unemployment and poverty for years

Care Centre needs support to help uplift the aged

ELDERLY residents of Ilinge near Komani have expressed concern over the lack of development and care for the elderly living in the area. The Rep paid a visit to the Ilithalethu Adult Care Centre this week where old people meet every Tuesday.

Centre founder Nolitha Matanzima said little was being done to assist with developmental efforts in the community. “We opened this centre to try and assist. We fund it from our own pockets and we do not get paid. “These old people need transport to take them where they need to go because some of them are sick.”

One resident, Zenzile Msitshane, said the centre had become the only place of refuge for the elderly.“ We are happy to have this home and we would like to come more than just one day.

“In other places there are homes like this, but they are in a much better condition and people go there every day. “We are at peace when we are here. The other six days there is nothing but stress at home.” Themba Magqaza said poverty was rife.

“When I got here in 1968, people were living in these conditions. If you bought a bag of mealie meal, neighbours would come one by one to ask for a cup of mealie meal from you.“ Today the situation of poverty remains the same. The centre helps us but there is only one toilet and no water.

“This is a temporary structure, the owner can take the house back at any time. ”Retired nurse Nobuntu Mlungwana, who assists weekly at the centre, said unemployment remained a huge problem. “When I arrived in Ilinge I saw that people do not have jobs. Diseases have spread. There are many uneducated people. There is no skills development. “We struggle with water and have been struggling with it since I arrived here in 1979.”

The centre had 61 registered members and an attendance of 30 to 40 people every Tuesday.“ We make them exercise and feed them meals, and are in talks to bring the mobile clinic here so the elderly do not have to walk.”



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