My wife and I are elderly white South African pensioners (69 and 73 years old) who unfortunately have run into a financial crisis and face the prospect of becoming homeless in our old age!
I am not in good health, mostly becaiuse of old age and the results of injuries sustained in a motor accident some years ago. My wife also had to stop working almost 25 years ago due to poor health, and has not been able to work since. Her health remains poor, and during Feb - May 2019 she had 3 major surgeries and spent almost 4 months in hospital, mostly in the intensive and high-care wards. Fortunately our medical aid bore the majority of these costs.
The point here is that we have to rely solely on the income that I can generate to survive.
I was a professional Human Resources practitioner for almost 40 years. My career was cut short when the company I worked for was sold, and later closed which forced me into early retirement 8 years before I was due to retire. Obviously I was not adequately financially prepared for retirement at that time and I carried a large amount of personal debt. Whilst the debt amount (credit cards mainly) seems excessive now, at the time I was earning a good salary, and the repayments were easily manageable.
Because of my age, South Africa's extremely high unemployment rate, and existing employment equity legislation it became impossible for me to find alternative employment. I thus opened a small HR practice in an effort to earn an income. Unfortunately the same equity legislation promotes trade with black owned businesses, which meant that it became virtually impossible for me to generate business as a small white owned business. The poor economic conditions that prevail in the area where I live compounds the problem as most SMME businesses who would normally be my customers, are themselves struggling to survive. The income generated by this business is not sufficient to supplement the income we receive from our invested pensions to make ends meet.
As it became more difficult to make ends meet I resorted to buying and selling used household appliances and equipment to supplement my income, and this helped until COVID-19 arrived and we went into lockdown, which prevented me from carrying out any business.
For almost 5 months I have been unable to generate any income, and am now in default with my payments to the bank, who have threatened to foreclose on my property unless I settle the full amount outstanding.
I own a humble home in one of Port Elizabeth's lower income suburbs, and have nowhere else to go if I lose my property. I therefore urgently need assistance to help us keep our home and have a place to stay until we finally pass away.