PRESS RELEASE: Services to the Jewish Aged Community Continued Despite Taxi Strike

07 August 2023

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vredehoek— Highlands House and affiliated welfare organisations have continued our services to the older persons in residence with us and the Jewish aged community in Cape Town benefitting from our offering despite many operational challenges following SANTACO declaring a “Taxi Stay Away” transport strike on Thursday 03 August.

On Friday 04 August, limited staff made it to work safely and all contributed to delivering services to our residents. The gaps in our wait and kitchen staff were supplemented with staff from other departments to serve lunch and dinner on Friday evening and further supplemented with volunteers to continue meal services over the weekend.

Highlands House persevered through incredibly trying circumstances with service delivery over the weekend, when less than 40% of our typical staff complement could come on-site, operationally affecting our cleaning crew, care crew and kitchen crew most adversely.

“We managed to render all services safely and efficiently,” said Dr Leon Geffen, Executive Director. 30 Volunteers from Highlands House and Jewish Community Services assisted on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

“Some of our staff slept over on the weekend to ensure essential service delivery continues uninterrupted, and we are doing everything we can to ensure their comfort and safety. We owe them a debt of gratitude for their sacrifices this weekend. I want to commend a number of our staff, who put in incredible effort and extra hours to manage our care services, coordinate care staff and even assist with cooking and transportation over the weekend. They ensured our kitchen remained functional and served our residents. We aim to continue all our obligations to Kosher Meals on Wheels to ensure that food deliveries continue. It is heartening to see our management team and other staff continue to show up beyond expectations for the residents of the Home.”

Dr Geffen said a number of essential services will continue uninterrupted, and some including laundry and cleaning will continue at a reduced capacity. One of the larger challenges identified is ensuring residents in the Memory Care Unit are assisted during mealtimes and in accessing bathrooms. We have been fortunate that we were able to meet every need to date.


“We call on residents’ family members, friends and the community at large who are willing and able to volunteer their time to the Home and assist us over mealtimes particularly. We continue monitoring the situation carefully. We look forward to a peaceful and successful end to the strike which will allow all who live in Cape Town to return to a happy and healthy life and that the staff, residents & their families can all live in a safe and healthy environment.”

Those who would like to volunteer can get in touch via volunteer@highlandshouse.co.za.

Our thanks to all volunteers and staff volunteering in additional capacity to date.

ENDS

For more information, contact:

Mathilde Tomson-Myburgh
Marketing & Communications Officer
communications@highlandshouse.co.za

Highlands House www.highlandshouse.co.za


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