Langa Cheshire Home for the Disabled where residents have complained about declining care at the facility.
- Residents of Langa Cheshire Home say poor management has had a negative impact on the quality of care.
- Residents and workers accused the manager of embezzling funds and underpaying staff.
- The Western Cape Social Development Department met with stakeholders to develop a response plan.
Mismanagement of funds, fear for their safety and lack of food stability are some of the main concerns raised by residents and carers at Langa Cheshire Home for the Disabled.
Residents of the house claim that the manager, Mnyamezeli Mbhadlisa, does not manage the facility properly, despite paying 75% of their disability allowances towards expenses on a monthly basis. The residents are joined by the workers who cook, clean and take care of the residents.
Workers would face late payments and unverified contributions to pension funds and the UIF.
One resident, Thembakazi Yaso, 33, said the quality of treatment had declined over the years.
It was at its worst in August when workers slowed down because they had routinely not been paid in full and on time.
The 22 residents have various disabilities. During the go-slow, some residents had not been bathed or changed their diapers.
“At one point, some were in bed from Friday to the following Tuesday. If the workers are not paid, of course the residents suffer.”
The Western Cape Department of Social Development has been alerted to the allegations – and its spokeswoman, Esther Lewis, said measures would be put in place to address the issue.
“We received a complaint about the facility and immediately dispatched senior officials to conduct an on-site visit and investigate the veracity of the allegations,” Lewis said.
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Lewis said the home was partially funded by the department to provide residential care services for people with disabilities.
Mbhadlisa claimed that the allegations of mismanagement of funds against him were baseless.
“The guaranteed monthly income from the house is R70,000 from the social development department, R34,000 from the residents and R2,500 from the rental container, which equates to R106,500. Salaries alone are an expense of R98,000 , leaving us with a balance of R8,500 for all other expenses,” Mbhadlisa said.
These cash flow problems, Mbhadlisa said, contributed to the payment delays.
The Cheshire Western Cape branch helps us because we have to pay pension and UIF contributions and other operating expenses.
Food security was also a point of contention for locals. They claim that donations received go unseen or are misused for the director’s personal gain.
In response to this, Mbhadlisa said donations were received weekly and used within the expiration time.
According to him, he “could not use the donations to [his] own gain”.
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“The only difference, in terms of food, is that due to cash flow problems, we buy less meat. People only eat meat twice a week, compared to the usual four times. We replace by canned fish,” he added. said Mbhadlisa.
Another resident, Milile Thapuko, 53, said that initially, as far as he knows, the food budget was R18,000 which was lowered to R10,000.
He added that given the donations received, it was not clear what the food budget was spent on.
One of the cooks, Ntombikayise Booi, 49, said the manager expected them to stretch out the ingredients to feed everyone enough each week, but not to stock up when things get tough. are exhausting.
We have to source ingredients from home to cook hearty and nutritious meals, when we too are struggling.
Security has become a growing issue because residents fear that the cracked walls in the lobby and chalets pose a potential hazard. In addition, doors and gates are not sufficiently secured to prevent burglaries.
“Doors and gates do not lock properly and can be opened from the outside. We are not safe here and women in particular fear the possibility of break-ins and rapes,” Yaso said.
A member of the house’s board, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “We have a crisis, in that the house has been operating in deficit for several years.”
The ministry has met with stakeholders and is developing a response plan.