The Eastern Cape Department of Social Development has missed a court-ordered deadline to file affidavits on its plan to move patients from the Lorraine and Algoa Frail Care centres into the care of NGOs, reports The Herald.
In June last year, the department did not renew its contract with East Cape Frail Care – a subsidiary of the Life Healthcare group – to run the two centres.
The report says the Frail Care Crisis Collective (FCCC), a group of families with relatives in the centres, obtained a court order to stop patients being transferred into the care of community organisations. East Cape Frail Care agreed to continue running the centres until the court case was finalised.
In February, the department asked for the matter to be postponed to 25 May and Social Development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi’s spokesperson Mzukisi Solani said then that the department would file a plan with the court.
The deadline was last Friday and, the report says, although Solani did not respond to a request for comment, court officials confirmed that no documents were filed by the department on Friday. According to an e-mail sent by the state attorney, it will only be filing its papers later this month.
The FCCC’s Gerhardt Loock said the group was informed by its lawyers, Legal Aid SA, that the department had missed its deadline.
DA spokesperson for social development Kobus Botha said in the report that the department’s failure to comply highlighted its lack of leadership and operational efficiency.The Herald report