Communicare, the oldest social housing non-profit organisation (NPO) in South Africa, has denied that a class action lawsuit has been lodged against them.
A number of disgruntled senior tenants questioned the organisation's non-profit mandate and expressed concerns regarding the high rental charges targeted at pensioners.
(Also read our article: Class action lawsuit lodged against Communicare)
Shaheen Adams, Communicare’s General Manager for Rental Property, says that the claims made against the organisation are false.
120 retired Communicare tenants living on social and disability grants have sought legal representation from Attorney Nazir Chafeker.
However, Adams advises that the 120 tenants represent a small proportion of the organisation's tenant base.
We have 120 tenants that represent 3% or less of our complete tenant base. They are represented by Mr. Chafeker at our rental housing tribunal. The ruling will be announced in October.— Shaheen Adams, General Manager for Rental Property at Communicare
According to Adams, the rental rates range between R800 - R5000 per month.
He says that the organisation is not a typical NPO and that their business model has had to change, because they are no longer subsidised by government funding.
We went from being a grant-dependent organisation, into our current phase of being an operationally sustainable and financially viable non-profit organisation. The company is not receiving any grants at the moment.— Shaheen Adams, General Manager for Rental Property at Communicare
Adams claims that in order for Communicare to be financially viable, the organisation cannot afford to charge tenants 30% of their total income.
Western Cape MEC for Social Development, Albert Fritz, will today meet with MEC for Human Settlements Bonginkosi Madikizela to discuss the concerns raised surrounding Communicare.
Listen to the full conversation from CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: