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UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

UDM CALLS ON SA TO GIVE EFFECT TO CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE ELDERLY

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

It is long overdue that the Minister of Social Development has been informed, as if he cannot see the writing on the wall himself, that the elderly of South Africa suffer due to widespread abuse, neglect and crimes committed against them. It is further disgraceful, but painfully truthful, that the Assistant Director of the Department of Social Development admitted that this problem is further compounded by an incoherent strategy by the Department, that highlights mismanagement, fragmentation, and racial divides.

The UDM calls on all citizens of South Africa to acknowledge the important roles played by our elderly, by respecting them and treating them with dignity. Government must take the lead by taking steps to eradicate the abuse of the elderly, and exploitation that takes place in various aspects of their lives, such a pension payouts and medical services. Crime against the elderly is also highly unacceptable, and the department of Safety and Security needs to urgently look into the high rates of crime that occur against the elderly, especially the rape and murder of elderly woman. In addition, government should also revise the sentences that are currently being imposed for crimes against the elderly, as harsher, stricter sentence implementation is needed. The new law the Minister of Social Development proposes should contain provisions to protect the elderly similar to those in the Domestic Violence Act.

The UDM calls on the President to urgently implement an integrated multi-departmental programme to give effect to the constitutional rights of the elderly. The UDM further calls on all South Africans to unite in the spirit of Ubuntu - to respect, protect, and honour the elderly of South Africa.

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


Cape Town
25 October 2001

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