One of the occupiers of the Bowden Nurses’ Home in Granger Bay says they need much more than just financial support.
“We need support. We need social workers, psychiatrists, police and medical services who can help with the difficult challenges life throws at you,” said wheelchair-bound Freddie Titus, 50, who lives on the third floor.
He spoke of their plight after getting a food parcel from Woodlands Women’s Support group chairwoman Gabieba Rademeyer, who cooked food and delivered some goods to those occupying the home.
The double amputee has to be carried up and down two flights of stairs when he wants to leave the flat he shares with his wife and their two children.
“You don’t help by talking but with your heart,” he said.
Prayer had kept him alive, living without electricity and piped water, after moving into the flat three years ago, he said.
The nurses’ home was renamed Ahmed Kathrada House by the activists who occupied it in response to the sale of the Tafelberg site in Sea Point by the provincial government in 2017.
Late last month, the Western Cape High Court set aside the sale of the site to the Phyllis Jowell Jewish Day School for R135 million.
Housing activists had argued that the site should be used for affordable housing.
Another occupier, Beauty Sisusa, who works at the Castle of Good Hope, told Ms Rademeyer there were about 800 families living in the occupied building and that many of them were battling to make ends meet.
Ms Rademeyer said: “My heart went out to her and her neighbours. I prayed for assistance and was able to rally support.”
They delivered food, cooldrink and food parcels, as well as party packs for the children, on Thursday September 3.