The ANC-led Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality cares little about the wellbeing of the most vulnerable residents of the province as they are yet to finalize the repairs to the broken lift at the Silwerkroon Flats in Alberton which is a residence for the elderly.
During the DA’ s visit to these flats, it was distressing to see the elderly crawling up the stairs with their groceries and laundry to their flats on the second and third floor. Some are on oxygen and the cylinders are too heavy for them to carry up or down the stairs without any assistance.
The lift at these flats stopped working 8 months ago, yet the Ekurhuleni Municipality has repeatedly stalled the process of repairing the lift.
Some of the residents are wheelchair bound while others use walkers, walking sticks and crutches and it is difficult for them to use the stairs.
Residents on the third floor who have difficulties in using the stairs have been literally trapped in their rooms for 8 months.
The Ekurhuleni Municipality was made aware of this problem from the outset and promised to have it sorted out, however to date the lift is blocked between floors.
Furthermore, some Ekurhuleni officials have threatened to evict those residents who are vocal and complain about the nonfunctioning lifts, which is totally unacceptable.
Intimidation of the elderly by Ekurhuleni officials is an offence that should be taken seriously as it has a negative impact on these frail and vulnerable members of the society.
A private company in Alberton had offered to fix these lifts and furthermore offered a free of charge one-year maintenance plan.
The Ekurhuleni Municipality inexplicably turned down the offer, citing insurance liability as an excuse.
There are also allegations that Ekurhuleni has not yet paid the service provider for these lifts and as such, the service provider is refusing to commission them.
The DA believes that the elderly are the custodians of our history and heritage and they deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
We call upon both Ekurhuleni Mayor Masina and Social Development MEC Manyathula-Khoza to intervene and have this broken lifts repaired as a matter of urgency.