Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Under ANC rule, no law will improve the fate of the elderly

The human rights organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) stated in a recent report that the South African government exhibits contempt for the rights of the country’s older persons. The FF Plus fully concurs. It is a very apt description of the situation in South Africa.

A shining example of this is the insufficient SASSA grant for the elderly, which is no more than a starvation wage.

Apparently, government is forgetting that older people are the ones who built this country as they are abandoned to their own fate after a lifetime of service.

The HRW report recommends swift action by government, which entails more than hollow words, but decisive steps. Older people do indeed have the right to live with dignity.

This raises the question of whether the Older Persons Amendment Bill is just more empty ANC government promises or whether it will effectively address the shortfalls of the current act for older persons’ benefit.

During the public hearings on the matter, older citizens requested that the main act be revised and improved to address a number of issues.

Mistreatment was identified as one of the main problems requiring urgent attention. As well as more ready access to certain divisions of public services and departments, which is a significant obstacle for the elderly.

Facilities to improve elderly care, and older persons’ service experience of the police and Department of Health were some of the other pertinent issues raised.

The Bill deals with, among other things, the registration and monitoring of elderly care facilities. Older persons subjected to certain forms of mistreatment should have the right to be transferred somewhere else where they will receive better care.

The FF Plus is doubtful whether this will truly help to resolve the shocking problem of a society mistreating its elderly, particularly in rural and less affluent communities.

Merely moving people around will do nothing to change the attitude of their caregivers. There is no guarantee that it will not be worse somewhere else – as was clearly illustrated by the Life Esidimeni tragedy.

The availability of facilities is another pressing problem. The FF Plus has serious misgivings about the feasibility of the Bill’s proposals.

South African society’s seams have become so frayed under ANC rule that the entire population patchwork is unravelling.

The fate of women and children leaves much to be desired; older persons are suffering; and millions do not have jobs and food. Loyal workers and taxpayers are heavily burdened by crime and are being overtaxed.

No law will improve citizens’ fate while the ANC remains in power. Things will only improve if government truly cares about its people, particularly the most vulnerable, such as the elderly.

Later this month, on 29 May, there is an opportunity to stand up for the country’s older persons by getting rid of the ANC at the polls. Now is the time to act.



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