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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Senior citizens face biggest social problems: Dlamini

Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, says physical abuse, abandonment and financial abuse are the biggest problems faced by the elderly in South Africa.

Dlamini, says more than 500 000 older persons collect social grant to look after their grandchildren. She says that is one of the reasons why they need to be honoured.

Dlamini spent the day with grandparents and pensioners in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria.

Grandparent's Day is observed annually to celebrate the positive contribution made by senior citizens to the country.

"We've also come to say to them thank you for looking after our children, because older persons are taking care of the children who no longer have parents and also thank you for ensuring that they grow up, they go to school and we also want to thank them because most of the children that stay with their grandparents perform very well at school," says Dlamini.

Emily Mate has three grandchildren and says even though she loves looking after her grandchildren, many grandparents struggle to cope with the responsibility.

"There are so many teenage pregnancies here, and they leave their children with their grandmothers, and it's too challenging, what if that grandparent is ill. What is he/she going to do with the children. And if you are a parent why do you not put a support grant here," says Mate.

Dlamini says her department is aware of the financial difficulties that many grandparents face.

She says government is dealing with private companies, who distributes grants and then deduct money for their services.

"We want to assure all of them that we are still dealing with the matter and we are also pleading with them to go to our front line offices if their monies are deducted. We are still busy with the dispute with the company that is paying out pensions," says Dlamini.

Many old people are also the victims of other forms of abuse.

Some of the old people who attended the event complained that they had to wait for more than four hours, without food or water in a warm tent for the minister to arrive.

Source: http://www.sabc.co.za/news/a/1000ca004a1631e1ab96eba53d9712f0/Senior-citizens-face-biggest-social-problems:-Dlamini-20150410 

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