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Swartberg Old Age Home In Dysselsdorp

Oudtshoorn, 29 March 2023 – The Swartberg Home in Dysselsdorp is a municipal old age home for pensioners.  It comprises of 37 units that accommodates pensioners. These units are meant for the elderly who have retired and cannot afford other accommodation.  It has become a trend for young people to move in with their parents in these units and when their parents pass away, they take up further tenure on the premises.

The Acting Municipal Manager of the Greater Oudtshoorn, Mr Walter Hendricks, commented that the Swartberg Home offers an opportunity for our elderly to spend their days undisturbed in a safe and caring environment. “The home was not created to house young people. Young people who stayed with their parents and whose parents have passed away, unfortunately must vacate the premises for the elderly to be offered an opportunity to be housed in the Swartberg Home”.

This situation is now at the stage that led the municipality to start an eviction process for those who do not qualify to stay at the home because of their age. “We cannot allow young individuals to stay there and cannot be irresponsible by taking away the rights of our elderly for a safe haven”.

Hendricks further stated that “the longer the municipality takes to take action against illegal occupants the more we violate the rights of the elderly”.  The young people were given a 3-month notice to obtain other accommodation and are provided with structures on request. Some of the illegal occupants demanded that the municipality follow a public participation process.  Hendricks however stated that there is no provision in law to follow a public participation process in this regard. “The Swartberg Home is for pensioners (Older retired persons), not for young people and this has always been the case” he emphasised.  “Is the municipality now obliged to go through a public participation process to protect older people’s rights which are already enshrined in the Constitution RSA 1996”?

The Greater Oudtshoorn Municipality strives to be a municipality that cares for all our people.  One of the municipalities objectives is to promote a safe and healthy environment for all its citizens.