The 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.
In June last year, the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development did not renew its contract with East Cape Frail Care – a subsidiary of the Life Healthcare group – to run the two centres.
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 May 25. Social Development MEC Nancy Sihlwayi’s spokesman Mzukisi Solani said then that the department would file a plan with the court. The deadline was last Friday. Solani did not respond to a request for comment yesterday, but 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 spokesman for social development Kobus Botha said the department’s failure to comply highlighted its lack of leadership and operational efficiency.
The FCCC has called a meeting for all families on Saturday at 4pm at Algoa Frail Care Centre.