Yeoville elderly voice their frustration

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Protecting the rights of the elderly people is important.

City of Joburg speaker of the council Clr Vasco da Gama addresses the elderly at a meeting in Yeoville on May 15.

Yeoville senior citizens voiced their frustrations at a meeting with speaker of the council Clr Vasco da Gama at Yeoville Recreation Centre on May 15.

The meeting was prompted by a visit to the speaker’s office by an NPO for the eldery in Yeoville called Phuthaditjhaba.

According to its founder, Silindile Skhakhane, the elderly are forgotten and not well cared for in the area.

“When the community raises issues that affect them, the elderly are never given the platform to voice their frustration,” said Skhakhane.

“I’m deeply concerned that during the recent Integrated Development Planning (IDP) Regional Summits, there was little representation of the elderly,” said da Gama.

“This indicated that there are serious barriers that limit the participation of the elderly. I want to afford the elderly in Yeoville an opportunity to engage with the City of Johannesburg to ensure their voice is also heard. Protecting the rights of elderly people is important,” said Da Gama.

The meeting was attended by a number of stakeholders, including social workers, Department of Health, Yeoville SAPS and JMPD.

The challenges were raised by the elderly included high crime levels, affordable accommodation for the elderly, abuse of the elderly, use of the recreation centre and hijacked property.

Concerns were also raised about the old Yeoville Police Station, old library and market that are being occupied illegally.

JMPD chief Supt Dan Machete said metro police are aware of the by-law infringements in Yeoville and they are working to address them.

“Yeoville is a constant battle and we are fighting every day to try and address the issues,” said Machete.

He said the by-law infringements in the area are related to illegal taverns, illegal churches, drugs, building hijackings, illegal connections and vagrants.

“We are working closely with Yeoville SAPS and we would like to encourage the community to also come forward with information,” said Machete.

He said JMPD is committed to fighting crime in the area with the Integrated Intelligent Operation Centre (IOC) Reaction Unit.

CCTV cameras have been installed on Raleigh Street.

“This CCTV dedicated unit will focus on combating street crimes reported on a daily basis in the inner city. The system will operate 24 hours a day, with technology like licence plate and facial recognition, a speedy and effective response to any crime spotted is equally important,” said Machete.

Yeoville SAPS spokesperson Sfiso Mabizela said they are also aware of the challenges in the area and are working hard to address them.

“If the community doesn’t report crime, we don’t know about it. We need to protect the elderly and that is the responsibility of the community and the police,” said Mabizela.

He further encourages the elderly to make use of the social crime unit at the station.

“If the elderly wants to report a crime or abuse and they are not comfortable to talk to officers, they can make use of the social crime unit,” said Mabizela.

Da Gama said they will look into the matters raised with the relevant departments.

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