Local hero Gerome Hendriks provides free rides for the eldery in Eastridge.
Local hero Gerome Hendriks provides free rides for the eldery in Eastridge.

Community hero transports pensioners for free

By Siphokazi Vuso Time of article published Apr 9, 2021

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A DAUGHTER has thanked a Mitchells Plain good samaritan for always helping her 92-year-old mother collect her medication at the hospital, all out of the kindness of his heart.

Gerome Hendriks uses his Red Nissan Sentra to help several elderly people whenever they need a hand with getting somewhere.

He says he wakes up as early as 4.30am for his daily pick ups.

“I get contacted through calls, SMSs or WhatsApp messages. I don’t just take the elderly to get their tablets, but also for their dialysis appointments, doctors appointments and also non-appointments at the hospitals in Mitchells Plain. Some pensioners who don’t have cellphones alert the staff at the hospital who inform me when the pensioner is done, ” he said.

Joan Pietersen said they used to struggle to find a lift to transport her mother to the hospital.

“My mother has ulcers and heart problems, he takes her when she has an appointment and my sister as well. We are very thankful to him for helping us and he is very reliable, every time I give him a call he always picks them up,” she said.

The Kingdom Foundation Investors founder Hendriks said at the beginning of lockdown last year he was stationed at the Mitchells Plain Day hospital, transporting pensioners because there was no public transportation available.

“Due to the crime some pensioners who live five minutes away from the hospital would rather drive with me. Some pensioners started skipping their hospital appointments due to no travelling fare or shootings in their area, but were so excited when they heard about our service that we render. They really appreciate it,” he said.

“It’s all for free. I know how many pensioners struggle with transport and I’m driven by the joy I bring to them, and I want them to realise that we haven't forgotten about them and we appreciate them. The only challenge is, I wish I had a wheelchair friendly van to transport the pensioners more comfortably. Because at times their fragile bodies are hurt when taken in and out of the car and then put into a wheelchair,” Hendriks said.

Ward 82 councillor, Washiela Harris hailed the initiative.

“The seniors are being targets on pension day and during the clinic visits. (Hendriks) is mostly concerned with the seniors safety. That’s why the service was created. I would sometimes see him at the clinic picking up seniors,” Harris said.

Hendriks can be contacted on 079 988 9296 for more information on the service.

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