Mayor Patricia de Lille paid a visit to Arcadia Place retirement village in Obs ervatory this week as part of the DA’s outreach campaign in the run-up to the local government elections on August 3.
Elderly residents were given the opportunity to engage the mayor and the party’s ward candidate, Paddy Chapple, on any challenges they faced, particularly within the Groote Schuur-Observatory precinct.
Ms De Lille thanked the residents for “building the city” for future generations, and said people should always look to their senior citizens for advice on how life could be made better for all.
“I visit Archbishop Desmond Tutu from time to time (to seek advice). He tells me that he is busier now than when he was just a ‘lousy priest’,” she said, to the delight of the audience.
The mayor said the City was undertaking several projects to ensure all elderly residents were well looked after.
“About a year ago, we asked ourselves what we could do for our senior citizens, and came to the decision that home-based care was essential. We’ve trained hundreds of people who go to homes asking what they can do for elderly members of the household. Not everyone is fortunate to be housed in a facility like this one (Arcadia), so these workers perform duties like washing clothes or clipping the elderly’s toenails, anything they can do to help.”
Ms De Lille said while the City has made a lot of progress, there was still “a lot more to do”.
“There are thousands of people in Cape Town who do not have a roof over their head, and we need to help them. Our secret to success in Cape Town is that we recognise every single person, and together we can make progress possible. For this reason we ask that our senior citizens continue to support us.”
There were cheers when the mayor, upon completion of her address, presented one of Arcadia’s oldest residents, Francis “Ma” Stringer with a belated 100th birthday gift. Ms Stringer reached this milestone in February.
Among the concerns raised by the residents was the increased presence of homeless people and vagrants in Observatory.
Mr Chapple acknowledged that this was a “big problem” in the area, and was not helped by the fact that people continued to hand over money to the homeless, rather than buy vouchers and food for them.
“The truth is that many homeless people are addicted to drugs and alcohol, so they just use the money to feed their addiction. But I must emphasise that the homeless are not bad people. Among them are many women who have fled domestic abuse at home.”
Brett Herron, who will not be standing for re-election in Ward 57, thanked the residents for their time together, and recalled the “wonderful” parties they had enjoyed over the years.