Wenakker Staff


Wenakker is a residential facility for the care of 250 intellectually disabled adults in Lydenburg Mpumalanga. Established in Oct. 1969 by 6 concerned parents and affiliated to the South African Federation for Mental Health. The profoundly, old and severely disabled are cared for and stimulated in a safe and secure environment. It’s a non profit organisation (NPO. 009 224) and depends on government subsidies, family contributions and fundraising.

Helping with Laundry

At the centre we occupy the residents with normal house chores, creativity centre and recreation activities.
The centre has 10 houses with a live in housemother who take care of their needs. In our High Care Unit we care for 110 profoundly intellectually disabled adults, with 24/7 nursing staff. Here we provide sensory stimulation combined with creativity in a loving and caring environment.


We also have quite a large vegetable garden where we produce veggies for our kitchen. We prepare 860 meals per day in our kitchen. In the laundry we process up to 400kg of clothing per day. Being in rural Mpumalanga protected workshops for contract work is unfortunately not financially viable.

Mixer sponsored by Aqua Malongane
ABOVE: Industrial food mixer sponsored by Aqua Malongane 2005


Adult Intellectually disabled persons need to be in an environment where their optimum physiological, social and emotional well-being can be maintained. The relatives and the larger community cannot always provide in the above needs and when disabled persons are admitted to Wenakker, they are in a safe and well-managed facility, able to maintain social contact and assisted and guided to improve their life skills. Their physical well-being is also taken care of. The main objective is to improve their quality of life and to create a sense of belonging.

Vegetable garden


 The vast majority of our consumers are not in a position to make a financial contribution towards their care.

Any shortfalls will have to be covered by either fund-raising or the introduction of money-generating projects. As far as fund-raising is concerned, our options are limited in Lydenburg. Wenakker is situated in a community where unemployment is rampant and huge demands are being made on the few community resources in the area. Applications are regularly made to the National Lottery.
 Mahindra Bakkie sponsored by LOTTO
One of the vechiles sponsored by the National Lottery Fund.

We have success in collecting donations in kind from the farming community in the area which helps us to cut on operating expenses.

CAT Generator sponsored by Barloworld
ABOVE: Generator system sponsored by Barloworld

Money-generating projects are not viable in terms of the capabilities of our residents and the local market for products. We had to close our metal and woodworking operations because of actual losses incurred for the above reasons. Furthermore, Lydenburg is not an industrial centre where contract work (such as assembling) is available.

Wenakker relies for +/- 86% of its annual expenditure on Government subsidies. In the light of the essential services that we render to the community, it will have to be accepted that we are partners and that the Government is obliged to make a substantial contribution to ensure that the delivery of this important service is sustained.

Wenakker has property adjoining the central business district. We have had a number of developers making enquiries about either purchasing the land and building or going into a joint venture. As the town grows and property values rise, it may be advantageous for Wenakker to consider offers in future.

Wenakker owns a number of residential and commercial properties which are no longer required for our own operations. These properties are leased to other parties and make a substantial contribution to our income. Funds have been acquired from Lotto for the erection of a vegetable tunnel. This will enable Wenakker to produce vegetables for our own consumption which makes us more sustainable.

Greenhouse sponsored by LOTTO

As part of our therapeutical program, our residents assist with household duties in the laundry, kitchen, residences and grounds. While the activities keep them active and healthy, it also goes a long way in making Wenakker more sustainable. We have appointed two full time marketer/fundraisers to target corporate funding for Wenakker from 2011.

Helping in the kitchen



The Laundry is responsible for all the washing and ironing of up to 400kg of washing per day! Three personnel as well as a number of resident ladies are working in the Laundry.




Everyone agrees that the kitchen is the heart of Wenakker. Approximately 900 menu based meals are prepared here daily. A number of residents under strict supervision and six staff members assist with the preparation. 




At the clinic daily medicine dosages are carefully sorted and dispensed.



Wenakker provides a variety of creative training classes to keep the residents occupied and entertained.



Residents are looked after by capable nursing staff.

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