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City of Johannesburg Visits Donovan McDonald Retirement Home



Accompanied by the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) Ombudsman, representatives from the office of the Chair of Chairs undertook this visit in response to residents’ complaints regarding deteriorating living conditions, inadequate maintenance, and safety concerns. The Chair of Chairs, who oversees the Section 79 Committee Chairpersons, led the oversight team, comprising Sam Shabane, the Director for Governance and Oversight, Winsley Masinga, the Acting Regional Head, and Advocate Livhuwani Tshiwalule from the Office of the Ombudsman.

During the visit, the teams engaged with residents at the facility to gain a firsthand understanding of the prevailing conditions. Various issues were identified, including cracked floor tiles, broken windows, and burst water pipes that have been leaking for months. Given that the facility is a high-rise building, the elderly residents heavily rely on functional lifts for mobility. However, several lifts were found to be non-operational, causing significant concern and frustration among the elderly occupants.

Shabane reassured residents that the office of the Chair of Chairs would coordinate efforts among relevant departments to enhance service quality.

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“We will ensure that all departments and individuals responsible for health and safety maintenance are held accountable. Additionally, we have invited officials from the ombudsman’s office, which has the authority to ensure that those responsible for the deteriorating conditions face consequences,” stated Shabane.


Among the major grievances expressed by residents was the inadequate security measures, resulting in incidents of vehicle theft within the premises. Furthermore, residents raised concerns about certain occupants living in the units illegally.

To address these issues, the Office of the Ombudsman set up a stall at the location, allowing residents to register complaints. In addition, Tshiwalule encouraged residents to utilise the ombudsman’s office for long-standing issues, particularly those posing health and safety risks, especially to vulnerable elderly individuals.

“The City bears the responsibility of ensuring the well-being of every senior citizen residing in these facilities. Therefore, all departments, including social development, must fulfill their roles to create conducive living conditions within this facility,” emphasised Tshiwalule.

Shabane assured the residents that the team would revisit the facility to assess the progress made on the identified issues.

Source: City of Johannesburg hold oversight visit at Donovan McDonald Retirement Home


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Photo: Facebook / @Roodepoort Record / Northsider

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