Give pen­sion­ers a 13th cheque

Post - - OPINION - JAYRAJ BACHU Clare Es­tate

CON­SID­ER­ING that our se­nior cit­i­zens who re­ceive state grants are find­ing it ex­tremely hard to eke out a liv­ing, I fully sup­port the call by the Pen­sion­ers’ Fo­rum that the gov­ern­ment of­fer pen­sion­ers a 13th cheque this year.

The fo­rum also wants the gov­ern­ment to re­view the R1 700 a month pen­sion and con­sider pay­ing pen­sion­ers R8 000 a month.

It must be noted that the re­cent VAT in­crease and the es­ca­lat­ing fuel prices have con­trib­uted sig­nif­i­cantly to high food prices, which is hit­ting pen­sion­ers hard. Be­cause of high un­em­ploy­ment, pen­sion­ers use their mea­gre pen­sion to also take care of their fam­i­lies.

The bonus that the pen­sion­ers are ask­ing is equal to what Na­tional Trea­sury in­tends to spend to bail out the SA Na­tional Roads Agency to cover debts in­curred be­cause mo­torists are not pay­ing their e-toll bills.

Also, if the gov­ern­ment can find bil­lions of rand to bail out South African Airways, Eskom and other state-owned en­ti­ties, there is no rea­son why it will not be able to find the money to give our se­nior cit­i­zens a 13th cheque.

It makes more sense for the money to go di­rectly into South African pock­ets to help pen­sion­ers and their fam­i­lies, and act as a stim­u­lus by bring­ing money into the econ­omy. The pen­sion­ers’ strug­gle is sim­i­lar to the fight for a liv­ing wage.

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