Council and Management

With over 60 years of reliable and caring service behind us, our Council and Management team is geared to meeting the challenges of an ever changing social and economic environment.

As the responsibility of caring for an ageing population threatens to overwhelm the percentage of economically active South Africans, new and better solutions need to be explored and developed in order to ensure a happy and secure future for older persons in society.

 

CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE

An annual report is usually a reflection of an organisation’s successes on the closing financial year. In 2020/2021 the successes we reflect on commemorate this Organisation’s resilience in one of the toughest years experienced by most across the entire world.

We acknowledge that Tafta’s resilience is firmly rooted in the commitment and dedication of all those who are employed, affiliated and connected to the purpose we pursue. The personal sacrifices made by everyone is a sobering reminder that in the face of adversity, Tafta’s strength lies in its people, and we extend our gratitude to all for remaining steadfast and staying the course.

By April 2020, the world had already been plagued by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The leadership team rallied fast to implement measures to keep our elders safe from the human devastation the virus was wreaking globally. Their response was immediate and effective, indicating a level of agility, flexibility and alertness that set a tone of resilience that remained for the rest of the year.

The Executive Committee and Council members were amazed by the determination and persistence shown by staff to do more, be more and live their mission to serve and protect the elderly. For all of us, it was evident that the mission was an urgent one, and the need to pull together to support the Organisation’s efforts became a priority for Council.

Despite the additional R1,7m expenditure on unbudgeted COVID-19- related expenses, our continued cost savings efforts resulted in a decrease in our expense base of 4% (R3,1m). Unfortunately, the pandemic also resulted in decreased revenue of R2m, creating an operational deficit of R21,3m in the 2020/2021 financial year.

While we continue to experience the financial fallout of the pandemic on business and thus funding for this sector, I am encouraged by the Organisation’s ability to skilfully maintain its sustainability and growth ambitions through the newly adopted 2025 strategy. With so many NPOs closing their doors during this time, it is even more important that we stay the course.

This year, the Council bid farewell to Council member Doris Shembe-Ntuli, who sadly passed on. We also bid farewell to former Chairperson Russell Scorer, who retired from Council in 2020 and who has personally mentored me in this role. Mr Scorer remains an ardent Tafta supporter and we are grateful for his guidance when requested.

To the volunteer EXCO and Council teams that continue to provide support through their wise counsel, we remain indebted to you. Your guidance to our executive staff and, in fact, all our Tafta staff members, is recognised and greatly appreciated.

In a time when leadership is sadly lacking in the global arena, I am proud of the astute leadership of Tafta CEO Femada Shamam. She has managed myriad crises during this financial year and does an admirable job in leading her staff, relatively unscathed, through troubled waters.

We are grateful to the staff who remain loyal and dedicated and the supporters and donors who continued to give, even during these troubled times.

Wicus Jacobs
Tafta Council Chairman

Chairman - Wicus Jacobs

Wicus Jacobs – Chairman

Tafta Council Members

Mr W Jacobs Chairman
Mrs C Shandu Vice-Chairman
Mr C Barford Treasurer
Mrs A Rampersad Secretary
Mr M Barry Member
Dr S Ramlall Member
Mrs Z Ngcamu Member
Mr D Warmback Member
Mrs NM Sithole Member

Key staff

Femada Shamam Chief Executive Officer
Nita Sewpersad Chief Financial Officer
Bernard Courtois Divisional Manager: Support Services
Marshnee Naidoo Divisional Manager: Admin and HR
Susanne Ramsunder Divisional Manager: Fundraising, Marketing and PR
Yoshina Kistensamy Divisional Manager: Operations
Femada Shamam - CEO

Femada Shamam – Chief Executive Officer

MESSAGE FROM THE CEO

Last month I had the privilege of traveling to Rwanda as one of eight CommonAge delegates to The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), sponsored by the Commonwealth Foundation and CommonAge. Arguably the most important event on The Commonwealth’s calendar, it was an incredible honour to be the ‘voice’ for older people, as we interacted with delegates from 54 countries across the world.

This was an important platform to lobby and advocate on an international stage for the inclusion of older people’s issues on the development agenda. It was important because we can only expect the relevant allocation of resources and support if the leaders of the world agree to see it as a critical issue. As part of the delegation, we asked that the Commonwealth countries which has a bias towards youth, to also consider and recognise the role of older people. We were asking for an all age-friendly Commonwealth.

Ultimately, the Commonwealth needs to value input from both young and old. I, together with my fellow delegates from CommonAge, passionately believe that the strongest societies are those that combine the energy, vitality and potential of younger people with the wisdom and experience of elders. Our participation in (CHOGM) was one small step in the journey to overcoming ageism and building more inclusive societies.