‘Re­spect, pro­tect older per­sons’

Diamond Fields Advertiser - - OPINION -

MORE than 87 500 older per­sons in the North­ern Cape cur­rently re­ceive old age grants - at a cost of R148 mil­lion a month.

This is ac­cord­ing to the Min­is­ter of So­cial De­vel­op­ment, Su­san Sha­bangu, who was in Kim­ber­ley for the cel­e­bra­tion of Grand­par­ents Day over the week­end.

Sha­bangu, who was speak­ing at an event at the 3 South African In­fantry mil­i­tary base in the city, pointed out that the pro­vin­cial De­part­ment of So­cial De­vel­op­ment also pro­vides fi­nan­cial sup­port to 24 res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­i­ties in the Prov­ince as well as 55 com­mu­nity-based care and sup­port cen­tres for older per­sons.

Dur­ing her ad­dress, Sha­bangu urged res­i­dents to re­spect and pro­tect grand­par­ents and older per­sons in their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties, adding that they sym­bol­ised a “bridge that links our past, present and our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions”.

“Our older per­sons are the back­bone upon which our demo­cratic South Africa was built and they there­fore de­serve more ap­pre­ci­a­tion, care and sup­port from fam­i­lies, com­mu­ni­ties and the wider South African so­ci­ety.”

Sha­bangu also urged the pub­lic to pre­vent and to re­port the abuse, ne­glect and ex­ploita­tion of older per­sons. “Take a stand and re­port any form of abuse of our se­nior cit­i­zens. The abuse of older per­sons is a crime and a gross vi­o­la­tion of hu­man rights. It must be re­ported to po­lice and so­cial work­ers.”

Eight per­cent of South Africa’s pop­u­la­tion is 60 years and older and by 2050 more than 10 mil­lion peo­ple in South Africa will be older than 60 years.

In the North­ern Cape, most house­holds are de­pen­dent on old age grants, as a re­sult of the high unem­ploy­ment and poverty lev­els.

As part of the Grand­par­ents Day ac­tiv­i­ties, Sha­bangu sym­bol­i­cally is­sued the new Sassa card to a 72-year-old age grant ben­e­fi­ciary and a grand­par­ent of seven, Mar­garet Seekoei. - Patsy Beangstrom

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