Handing over of vehicles to Lena Mouers and Morning Side Older Persons Service Centres, Upington

PROGRAMME DIRECTOR: Adv: M October
Mayor of Khara Hais Municipality: Concillor D. Koloi
Executive Mayor: Councillor Gift van Staden
Representative from Lena Mouers – Mrs. L. van Staden
Representative from Morningside – Mrs. G. Beukes
Representative from Noord Kaap Vigs Forum – Mr. J. van der Merwe
Officials from the Department of social Development
Older Persons
Ladies and Gentlemen

Nothing pleases one so much as having to spend time with the elderly, because you that you will be able to pick from the tree of wisdom. So do understand that it is quite an exciting day for me to be with you here today.

Over time the role of older persons in society changed from being respected as the custodians of traditions , cultural practices and knowledge which were passed on to others; to being a burden on younger people, having to care for them. This was due to changing times, with younger people seeking employment in urban area and the subsequent loosening of ties with their traditional families. Older persons, especially women, were left to care for the young children, ill and frail in communities.

Issues such as poverty, unemployment and the HIV/Aids pandemic further contribute to the woes of older persons, as they have to take on, an ever growing responsibility to care for and support their extended families, with many households relying on older persons for survival, both financially, through their grants, and by taking care of the young and ill.

THEME: “THE GROWING OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES OF GLOBAL AGEING

The lack of respect for older persons and the fact that they frequently are the sole providers of income in households leads to frequent abuse of older persons. This led to the National Department of Social Development having public hearings in 2001 in an attempt to comprehend the extent of the problem.

The Department drafted a Policy for Older Persons in order to facilitate services that are accessible, equitable and affordable to older persons and that conform to prescribed norms and standards. In 2006 the older Persons Act no 13 of 2006 was passed in Parliament.. The main focus of the Act is to shift services to older persons from institutional care to community based care and support services. Central to this is the rights of older persons.

You will further also understand that it is indeed a very sad time this for us in the African National Congress and government, as we have witnessed during the past week the passing of three of our movements cadres, and they were all well into to their years. Qualifying to be called veterans, whose struggle credentials are impeccable, cdes who have dedicated their lives in their entirety to the betterment of the lives of our people.

Cde Roy Padiyacche
Cde Florence Nyanda
Cde Sicelo Shiceka

But of course whilst it is important to remember those who left us just now, let us also not forget that today is the same day in 1934 May 08, when the first national minister of education in South Africa's Government of National Unity (GNU), Prof. Sibusiso Mandlenkosi Emmanuel Bengu was born in Kranskop, Natal. Bengu was released from his ministerial position in 1999 and sent to the Federal Republic of Germany as ambassador.

Of even more significance on this particular day, the adoption of the South African Constitution on 8 May 1996 was one of the turning points in the history of the struggle for democracy in South Africa. The Constitution is considered by many as one of the most advanced in the world, with a Bill of Rights second to none.

South Africa's Constitution was drafted by an all-inclusive constitutive assembly, which had representatives from all the major political parties and liberation organizations. The constitutional assembly sat between May 1994 and October 1996 drafting and completing the new constitution. The new Constitution was the embodiment of the vision of generations of anti-apartheid freedom fighters and democrats who had fought for the principle that South African belonged to all, for non racialism and for human rights.

Lena Mouers: The center is situated in Louisvaleweg and is been in operation since 1998 and started only with 37 older persons. The center operates 3 days a week from formal structure that is donated by South African Dried Food (SAD).

Morning Side: The center operates for 3 days a week and is situated in Morning-glory area. It is registered to accommodate for 35 older people and is been in operation since 2001. The center does not have its own building and operates from Roman Catholic Church hall.

Both centers are currently registered according to the Aged Persons Act and funded by Department of Social Development. Centers are expected to re-register in terms of the new Older Persons Act, (Act no. 13 of 2006).

The objective of the Act is to deal effectively with the plight of older persons by establishing a framework aimed at the empowerment and protection of older persons and also at the promotion and maintenance of their status, rights, well-being, safety and security.

The approach of the Older Persons Act is to move services from institutional care to community based care and support services with the purpose that older persons remain in the community for as long as possible. This can also be seen as the transformation service provision towards the older persons as programs provided should categorized into two, i.e. promotion and prevention programmes and Home-Based Care programmes.

Communities no longer embrace older persons and take care of them when they are no longer in a position to take care of themselves; the mindset of communities therefore has to be changed to once again respect older persons for who they are and what they can contribute in terms of experience and knowledge to the greater good of society.

Promotion and prevention programs are those that ensure independent living of older persons in the community. The Home-Based Care programs focus on provision of frail care services to frail older persons in the community. The process ensures the provision of affordable, accessible, effective and efficient services to all older persons.

Impact of having vehicles

Membership will increase as transport and health have been a problem
Centre will be in the position to provide meals on wheels for frail older persons in the community
Home visits for frail and bedridden older persons will be easily conducted

Let us continue to support and respect our elderly

Let us appreciate them whilst they are still alive

Let us honour them.

I THANK YOU

 

08TH MAY 2012

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