A class action lawsuit has been lodged against Communicare, the oldest social housing non-profit organisation (NPO) in South Africa.
A number of disgruntled senior tenants have questioned their non-profit mandate and are concerned over the high rental charges targeted at pensioners.
(Also read our article: The plight of SA's pensioners put under the spotlight)
Attorney Nazir Chafeker says he represents 120 retired tenants living on social and disability grants.
Most of them are 60 years old and upwards, surviving on social grants. They receive roughly R1 400 a month. They are being marginalised by Communicare if they can't afford the rental fees.— Nazir Chafeker, attorney
According to Chafeker, Communicare does not have a standard rental charge practice for their tenants. He proposes that the retirement home subsidise their rental income with the high earnings of their director.
We suggest that they set a standard policy in which they charge the tenants 30% of their total income. They must also trim the fat on top, where some of their directors are earning up to R 1 million a year.— Nazir Chafeker, attorney
Western Cape MEC for Social Development, Albert Fritz, says that NPOs have the obligation to care for the poorest and most vulnerable citizens of society.
Communicare's CEO opted not to comment on the legal action.
Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: