Here the old are treated like dirt

TEDDINGTON Court, a home for pensioners, paints a very glum picture of the future for people who will retire on a state pension.

TEDDINGTON Court, a home for pensioners, paints a very glum picture of the future for people who will retire on a state pension.

Conditions at the home in Jeppestown, Johannesburg, are unbearable for these elderly and sickly people who depend on state grants.

On entering the building, one is met by a terrible stench from the broken toilets.

The bathroom taps run continuously and the floor boards in passageways are rotting away.

Pensioners are forced to fight the cold and rain by covering broken windowpanes and ceilings with newspapers and refuse bags.

The pensioners pay a monthly rental of R68 to the city council for their units.

However, the rest of the funds needed to keep homes such as Teddington afloat are meant to be subsidised by the government.

But despite numerous complaints by the tenants to the Johannesburg city council, no repairs have been made.

It is also policy that the only entrance into Teddington gets locked at 10pm every night for safety reasons.

"There are no fire escapes or even fire extinguishers, so if a fire breaks out we will all die," says a tenant.

Residents have also been warned by the council that if they went to the media with their complaints, they would lose their units.

Joe Sethlau, a regional manager of the council who is in charge of the Jeppestown area, said: "We know about the problems at Teddington and we are working to correct these issues.

"For example, our maintenance guys were sent out last month to replace the water tank but unfortunately they ordered the wrong one, so we have to wait for the correct tank to arrive."

According to him, fire extinguishers were installed but they were stolen two days later.

"Who are these liars and trouble- makers that have reported us to you?

"The main problem at Teddington is that hooligans have invaded the building and are making conditions for pensioners worse," said Sethlau.

l To view more pictures on the old age home check: www.sowetan.co.za

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