Refiloe Nt’sekhe MPL
DA Shadow MEC: Social Development
The recent Senior Citizens Parliament hosted by the Gauteng Provincial Legislature highlighted the dire need for better care for older persons in the province.
During presentations to the parliament, numerous concerns were raised including the following:
- The financial burden placed on older persons who become care-givers to young children upon the death of parents to HIV/AIDS
- Housing corruption which sees houses going to young people despite senior citizens having been on the waiting list for several years
- Difficulty getting to SASSA pay points and having to stand in long queues once there. Security issues at these points also a concern
- Poor service delivery, including sanitation, billing and water supply to houses
Social Development MEC, Faith Mazibuko, was quick to stress that a caring government is measured by how well it treats its senior citizens.
However, it is clear from feedback presented by residents that this is not yet the case in Gauteng.
I will be submitting questions to the MEC to establish how many government-funded Old Age Homes are currently in Gauteng, how many residents these house and what budget they receive.
I will also be requesting the MEC to explain what measures the department will develop in conjunction with SASSA to ensure that service and safety are improved for older persons when collecting their grants.
Housing corruption continues to affect many residents of this province and I will be working with my colleagues in the Human Settlements Committee to ensure that older persons are not denied access to decent housing before it becomes too late.
Our senior citizens deserve all the dignity and care possible at this advanced stage of life.