Volunteers at an NGO in Du Noon that offers home-based care to chronically ill residents, are protesting because their stipends are too low.The eight volunteers for Du Noon’s Zusakhe NGO protested outside the organisation’s premises on Thursday, demanding that their stipends of R750 per month be raised.
They did not say how much they wanted their stipend raised to but said volunteers at other home-based care organizations got double their stipend – R1,500 a month.
The small protest started at 6:30 am on Thursday and prevented toddlers attending the Zusakhe crèche, and their teachers, from entering the pre-school.
Police in a patrol van kept a close eye on the protest until the volunteers dispersed at 8am.
Protesting home based care volunteer Kaleboni Thai said he had been volunteering at Zusakhe for over three-years yet never received more than R750 a month.
He said being a home-based care volunteer was demanding and the stipend was “unreasonable”.
“We take-care of people living with HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis in Du Noon and Doornbach, we go door to door, five days in a week,” he said, “sometimes we even accompany patients to the hospital.”
ANC ward councilor Lubablo Makeleni said the volunteers were “shallow minded” and did not understand what the term volunteer meant.
He said it was unacceptable that they prevented children and teachers from entering the Zusakhe crèche while they protested.
Makeleni told the protestors that a meeting would be held this week to explain to the volunteers how the NGO functioned, how they sourced funding and how it was utilized.
Approached for comment, Zusakhe manager Patricia Fekema refused to comment. — Peter Luhanga, West Cape News