UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

UDM CALLS FOR A YEAR OF THE ELDERLY ON INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS

STATEMENT ISSUED BY PROF MTUTUZELI MBADI, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

In celebration of The National Day of Older Persons, the UDM calls on government to give greater attention to the plight of the Elderly.

Such focus should include the alignment of national departments that affect the well-being of the elderly, especially those not complying with national laws. One such national department is the Department of Social Development, which is acting in contravention of The Social Assistance Act 59 of 1992. In many instances pensioners have had their grants suspended without due reason or notification, many of which were ultra vires. The UDM is distressed that this form of notification is also totally ineffective when given to illiterate people or in a language that they do not understand. This mal-administration is further entrenched by corruption. The UDM calls upon  the Minister of Social Development to urgently compel his department to comply with national law and to implement effective plans to alleviate the crisis relating to pension funds, which is resulting in unacceptable treatment and unnecessary suffering of our elderly.

Other areas of concern are the horrific murders, rapes and robbery of the elderly. It is shocking that our moral fibre is in such tatters that recent reports include the arrest of four young girls aged 13, 14, and two aged 15 for the murder of a 75 year old woman.

Health services for the elderly are also a further point of concern. Many of our fathers and mothers stand in queues for hours to seek medical attention. One can only wonder about those who are too frail to fight the harsh winters and scorching summers to stand in these endless waiting lines.

The UDM calls on government to dedicate a Year to the Plight of the Elderly with specific programmes to focus on uplifting the living conditions of the Elderly.

Enquiries:
Prof Mtutuzeli Mbadi, MP
UDM Spokesperson for Social Development

Cape Town
01 October 2001