Department to intervene in case of abandoned disabled Gugulethu man
The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz and Minister of Human Settlements, Bonginkosi Madikizela, visited the home of a profoundly intellectually disabled and epileptic 38 year-old man in Gugulethu.
The man and his 13 year-old son, were effectively abandoned by their family. They were left to fend for themselves in extremely indigent circumstances. The man’s health essentially meant that his child would have to look after him, which affected his schooling.
The Ministers were joined by social workers from the Department of Social Developments (DSD) Gugulethu local office, who were intervening in the case after it had been reported to the department by a neighbor and the media.
This case highlights the importance and need for community involvement and awareness. We applaud the neighbours for their care and for alerting us.
DSD social workers facilitated the transfer of the father to a hospital for medical treatment and care, and will assess further interventions required.
As per the Children’s Act of 2005, the child was placed in temporary safe care, and social workers will determine a more permanent arrangement, to allow the boy access to schooling and his father.
This case is a sobering reminder of the difficulties experienced by people living with disabilities in the country. DSD has allocated a total of R163.7-million this financial year for services to people with disabilities.
The Department funds 35 residential facilities in the province, and is working to expand day-care facilities for disabled children and adults. Work is underway to expand existing bed space at three facilities catering for intellectual disabilities. We are in discussion with;
· Agape Ministries in Worcester for 30 additional beds,
· Die Eiland Huis in St. Helena Bay for 30 additional beds,
· And Sivuyile in Maitland for 20 additional beds.
The public can report any cases of abused or neglected disabled people by contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250 or by visiting any of our 36 local offices across the province.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 076 083 6543
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za