19 February 2020
MEC KHOZA CALLS YOUNG PEOPLE TO BE AT THE FOREFRONT IN THE FIGHT AGAINST ABUSE OF OLD PERSONS IN COMMUNITIES
KWAZULU-NATAL Social Development MEC Mrs Nonhlanhla Khoza has made a passionate plea to the communities to respect and protect older persons.
On Tuesday, the 18 February 2020, the Department of Social Development held a dialogue with the community of uMshwathi Municipality in the KwaSwayimane area in the KZN Midlands to develop strategies to be implemented to protect senior citizens. Over the years, the area of KwaSwayimane was plagued by incidents of rape and other abuse of senior citizens.
Today’s dialogue was aimed at coming up with a plan to fight moral decay in the area and educate communities about the importance of taking older persons into government facilities like old age homes.
“We are concerned about the constant abuse of older persons in our communities. The remarkable attendance at today’s community dialogue signifies a serious commitment from the communities to ensure we end the scourge of abuse, rape and murders of senior citizens,” said MEC Khoza.
She added that the Department had made a decision to come back in the area to take young people to academies to be taught about different skills.
“We want to see the youth leading all programmes aimed at protecting our senior citizens. In our academies, they will be trained and provided with different skills in order to be able to have jobs,” MEC said.
Mayor of uMshwathi Municipality, Mandla Zondi and uMgungundlovu District Mayor, Thobekile Maphumulo were accompanied by District and Local leadership,uMshwathi Municipal Manger, Mr Nhlanhla Mabaso, officials from various government departments and iNkosi yesizwe saKwaSwayimane uNkosi Gcumisa . “Today is a privilege to be visited by MEC to address the issue ill-treatment of senior citizens. We hope these kind of actions will end. I further urge all AMADODA to rise up against such brutal actions, we have a responsibility to support and protect women, senior citizens and children” Said Mayor Mandla Zondi.
Mayor also requested all cases to be reported on War rooms where all departments supposed to have representatives to take community’s concerns. He further urged all departments to make immediate intervention once the case has been reported.
The Department constructed an Elderly Day Care Centre in the area that provides safety for the senior citizens during the day when families are away and they return to their respective homes in the afternoon.
MEC Khoza said the community proposes that the Department of Social Development convert the day care centre into a residential centre. The elderly persons also told the MEC that they want the Department to reopen a rehabilitation centre that was closed down due to financial constraints.
“The Department is considering the community proposal for the rehabilitation centre. We have noticed that there is s high rate of substance abuse, drugs and alcohol by young people in the area. Equally, we will be looking into the issue of the Old Age Home as proposed,” said MEC Khoza.
The MEC further called on the society to give love to older persons as they continue to play a critical role through volunteer work of raising children, offering experience, and knowledge about life.
“Older persons are incredible assets to the nation; therefore society must unite and eradicate the scourge of abuse against women and children, particularly elderly women. We need to take care and protected our senior citizenry against any form of abuse. They have knowledge and wisdom that can strengthen our foundation of building a better life for all. We also need families to understand that taking elderly persons into an old age home is safer. They are provided with adequate health and care.”
MEC Khoza called for the police to work day and night to track down the perpetrator who murdered an old person in Chatsworth.
“We are saddened by the murder of a senior citizen in the morning. But we have full confidence in the law enforcement agencies to track down the attacker. A team of social workers has been dispatched to provide support to the family. We send our condolences to the family of the deceased,” said MEC Khoza.
Issued by uMshwathi Municipality together with Social Development.
For more information, contact
Mhlabunzima Maphumulo on 0641866854
Sibusiso Mkhithi, Communications Manager on 0828084923