Older Persons Programme | Western Cape Government

Older Persons Programme


Overall Focus

  • Older persons have access to information about their rights, the range of services available to them and how to access them.
  • Services to older persons are transformed so that 80% have access to community-based support services that promote self-relience and inter-generational bonding.
  • All residential services are well managed, comply with minimum standards and implement programmes that promote the well-being,
  • safety and security of older persons.
  • A range of interventions are in place to speedily and effectively deal with the abuse of older persons and to systematically eliminate the prevalence of abuse.


Radio advertisement (English)


Radio interview with Debbie Fortuin

Radio Interview Questions & Answers


Q 1: 

What is an old age home?

A 1:

A residential facility also known as an old age home or frail care facility means a building or other structure used primarily for the purposes of providing accommodation and of providing a 24-hour service to older persons.

Q 2:

What is independent living?

A 2:

It means the provisioning of affordable, safe and accessible accommodation to active older persons, who are fully independent, with or without assistive devices and who don't need assistance regarding their activities of daily living.

Q 3: 

What is assisted living?

A 3:

Assisted living is the provisioning of affordable, safe and accessible accommodation, with access to support services for active older persons who are independent, with or without assistive devices and who need some form of supervision and assistance regarding their activities of daily living

Q 4:

What are service centres for older persons?

A 4:

Service centre are operated by registered NPO’s and provide community-based care and support services for older persons. Service centres provide older persons with the opportunity to engage in a range of activities and services such as exercise, recreational activities, cultural and spiritual activities, awareness campaigns, educational and skills activities as well as lunches.

Q 5:

Which type of residential facilities is currently registered by the Department?

A 5:

Frail care facilities where frail older persons who are not physically and/or mentally fit to perform activities of daily living, independently and are being cared for on a 24 hour basis is currently registered by the Department.

Q 6:    

Why are these frail care facilities being registered?

A 6: 

Registration is being prescribed in terms of the Older Persons Act, No. 13 of 2006. Registration is to ensure that older persons are being cared for in a safe and secure environment and that a quality standard of service is being rendered which they deserve.

Q 7:   

When should facilities apply to be registered?

A 7:

The process of registration started soon after the Older Persons Act came in operation during 2011. All frail care facilities must apply on a continuous basis to be registered.

Q 8:   

What are the compliance matters for frail care facilities?

A 8:

The Older Persons Act prescribed a set of norms and standards to ensure that a quality standard of service is being rendered to older persons in a safe and secure environment. The most important compliance matters are the following:

The Older Persons Act prescribed a set of norms and standards to ensure that a quality standard of service is being rendered to older persons in a safe and secure environment. The most important compliance matters are the following:

  • Admission procedure must be in place which include an admission policy, fee structure, information about their services, house rules, complaints procedure as well as a written agreement
  • Buildings/facilities should be safe and accessible
  • Appropriate staffing which should include registered nurses and trained carers which can cope with the health needs of older persons
  • Evidence of the care that’s provided
  • Appropriate policy and procedure documents should also be in place
  • A safe nutritional service

Q 9:   

What does the registration process consist of?

A 9:

  • Facilities should firstly complete and submit an application form
  • Furthermore facilities must apply to their local municipality to be assessed in terms of the appropriate bylaws and regulations
  • The Department will also complete assessments in terms of the mentioned norms and standards
  • Training and capacity building workshops also from part of the process in order to guide and support facilities

Q 10:   

If a facility meets all the requirements and is registered, is it a guarantee that it will always be compliant?

A 10:

Once a facility is registered, the operators must maintain the norms and standards. If a facility becomes non-compliant, their registration certificate can be cancelled. Contraventions of the Older Persons Act may also lead to the closing down of a facility.

There is currently a growing awareness about the rights of older persons as well as the dignity and respect they deserve. Therefore there is an increase in the complaints which are lodged with the Department.

Q 11:   

What kind of service and benefits can people expect of a registered facility?

A 11:

Family members as well as the broader public will have peace of mind because they’ll know that the registered facility has also gone through a rigorous assurance process to ensure that a quality standard of service is being rendered.

Q 12:   

To whom/where can the broader public as well operators of facilities direct enquiries?

A 12:

Enquiries can be directed to the Department via the toll free number on 0800 220 250 or the website www.westerncape.gov.za





The implementation of programmes and services is directed by the prescripts of the Older Persons Act, No. 13 of 2006.

Information and Awareness on:

  • Legislation and policies relevant to older persons.
  • The rights and responsibilities of older persons.

Social work intervention:

  • Counseling and therapeutic services.
  • Services aimed at supporting and strengthening the independent and optimal functioning of an older person.
  • Victim empowerment services to support victims of abuse and neglect.

Creating an enabling and supportive environment:

  • Support for services delivered by Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs).
  • Facilitate partnerships between different NPO's and other stakeholders to strengthen service delivery.
  • Provide financial awards to service providers such as residential facilities (old age homes) and service centres/clubs that provide social services to older persons from government funds.
  • Collaborate and cooperate with local municipalities and other government departments in order to co-ordinate and integrate service delivery.


For more information contact:




 Contact Person



 Cape Winelands/Overberg

 Liezel Williams



 Vanessa Damon


 Metro East

 Nondumiso Tshona


 Metro North

 Fatima Qari


 Metro South

 Hannelie Braaf


 West Coast

 Nyasha Muzhizhizhi



Postal Address: Private Bag x 9112, Cape Town, 8000
Physical Address:14 Queen Victoria Rd, Union House, Cape Town, 8000

For more information, contact or visit a local office near you.

Provided by:
Government Body: (Western Cape Government)
The content on this page was last updated on 28 September 2021