History of the organisation


The dream of a better life for elderly Durbanites, shared in 1958 by a few stalwart volunteers, has been fulfilled.

Today, Tafta has a strong Board of Management, dedicated and skilled staff and hundreds of volunteers who support our work.

We thank and acknowledge the generous support from local business, service clubs, trusts and individuals, that has enabled  the organisation to grow and develop over the years.

As you follow our progress back to the very beginning below, please consider helping  us sustain this legacy of caring by joining our circle of supporters today.


65 year anniversary
tree-planting ceremony at Tafta

Tafta commemorates 65th Anniversary with tree planting ceremonies at all our Homes.


KZN Top Women in Business - Femada Shamam

Launch of Tafta’s National Toll-free Elder Abuse Helpline


KZN Top Women in Business - Femada Shamam

Tafta’s CEO, Femada Shamam, is recognised as one of KZN’s top businesswomen in the Standard Bank Top Women in Business Awards.

capitol caterers

Tafta’s in house catering division, Cook ‘n Care, closes. Catering for all Tafta buildings and services is outsourced to Capitol Caterers.


Eden Alternative

Both John Dunn House and John Conradie House/Langeler towers receive their Eden Alternative accreditation.

After decades in operation our charity store, Granny’s Attic, closes down as a result of adverse trading conditions triggered by Covid-19 restrictions.

Tafta on Ridge


Tafta on Ridge is the first home in Kwa-Zulu Natal – and the third in South Africa – to become a member of Eden Alternative South Africa Registry.


60th Anniversary

Tafta commemorates its 60th anniversary as the largest aged care NPO in South Africa.


Eden Alternative

The newly built Langeler Towers officially opens, offering residents bright, modern rooms overlooking the Durban beachfront.

At the adjoining John Conradie House, renovations are completed.

Margie Smith retires and Femada Shamam is appointed CEO of Tafta.

Barnes Cottages

Barns Cottages in Morningside opens, following a generous donation from the Barns Trust.


Care Practitioners' Training

The first Tafta Care Practitioners training course was run for people wanting to work in our care facilities.


Langeler Towerrs


Construction begins on the new 11 storey Langeler Towers building and upgrade of the adjacent John Conradie House.


TAFTA acquires The Outspan Retirement Complex in Sarnia Road from Trans 50, and is able to accommodate a further 104 pensioners.


Ageing in Place is launched with a substantial donation from the Durban Benevolent Society. The service is aimed at alleviating the demand for accommodation for the elderly, by providing care/assisted living facilities in their own homes.


Amaoti Village


At Amaoti, work begins on the Development Village for grandmothers caring for orphaned grandchildren.

The first 8 cottages were completed in November; a further 11 units were added the following year, including a 6 bedded Assisted Living Unit for frail aged.

Tafta on Ridge


Work begins on a psycho geriatric home adjoining Farrer House, and the complex was renamed Tafta on Ridge.

The building adjoining Ray Hulett House is purchased and linked to the existing building to provide much needed additional housing for Durban pensioners.

Amaoti Village


Official opening of the village for vulnerable people in Amaoti, Inanda. This was a collaborative project between TAFTA and a community based organisation, Illungelo Labadala.

Margie Smith


Margie Smith is appointed CEO of Tafta, a position she will hold for 15 years.


John Dunn House is restructured, reducing the frail care unit from 104 to 52 beds and opening up space to provide sheltered housing to 29 sub-economic pensioners.


TAFTA board approves the creation of a Farrer House residential wing.


Cook 'n Care


Cook ‘n Care expands its operations to provide food to other welfare organisations.

St Martin's Village


Tafta’s first Life Rights complex, St Martin’s Village in Sydenham, officially opens.



Tafta establishes a feeding scheme for over 1500 pensioners in Inanda, the site which will later be used to establish the Illungelo Labadala development.



The first Alzheimer’s support group for carers is established at Farrer House.


TAFTA Lodge opens, providing sheltered accommodation for 254 sub-economic residents.



The Squirrels Workshop is established with a donation from the Argus Community Project.

John Dunn House opening


The first residents are admitted to the John Dunn Home for Frail Aged in Austerville, Wentworth.



Tafta celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a banquet at John Conradie House.


Kings Hall


A 17 storey block of flats and shops, Kings Hall in Aliwal Street, is purchased.



TAFTA celebrates its 21st Anniversary with a banquet at John Conradie House.



The Athena Cultural Club is established. Also during this year, the first Community Liaison Worker was employed.

Ray Hulett House


31 Acutt Street is purchased to provide accommodation for 104 old age pensioners. The property is renamed Ray Hulett House.

Robert Storm House


Mayor of Durban, Councillor Ron Williams, officially opens Robert Storm House.



Construction begins on Robert Storm House.


The Department of Social Welfare introduces a subsidy specifically for Frail Aged Homes.


John Conradie House


Mr CJ Vorster, Minister of Social Welfare and Pensions, lays the foundation stone of Tafta House, the first specially designed home for frail aged built in South Africa.

In 1977, the home was renamed John Conradie House in honour of our president.



Meals on Wheels service is launched (and is still going strong today, thanks to wonderful suppoters like you!)

Home Help service


Laundry Scheme and Home Help Services launched. The Home Help Service was the first home care programme for incapacitated elderly in South Africa.


The Durban Bachelors club donates Cambridge House – a home for 23 elderly ladies – to Tafta.

This was the first property owned by Tafta, and in 1973 it was registered with the South African Nursing Council as a training school for enrolled nursing assistants.


The Roof Garden Centre in London House opens. It was the second multi purpose wellness centre of its kind in South Africa.



Tafta employs its first social worker in response to the growing number of older people in need of help.


John & Anna Conradie

John & Anna Conradie


Tafta Founded

A group of concerned citizens, led by John Conradie, establishes Tafta to alleviate suffering and distress among Durban’s elderly, many of whom were living in dire circumstances.

They began by taking meals to the poor and housebound.