Respect senior citizens, says Dlamini

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pretoria - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini urged residents of Kanyamazane in Mpumalanga to build circles of support for senior citizens to ensure that they age gracefully and with dignity.

During her visit to Kanyamazane, Thekwane, Msogwaba and Matsulu, Dlamini reminded villagers that the rights of older persons are human rights too. 

"The true measure of a caring society is how it protects and respects its senior citizens, particularly in South Africa, where our senior citizens have played a pivotal role in the struggle for freedom and democracy," she said.

Dlamini's visit is part of her broader consultations aimed at engaging with communities throughout the country. It is also part of the national campaign to highlight and promote the rights of older persons in South Africa. 

The Social Development Department is working closely with the South African Older Persons Forum (SAOPF) and Age in Action to promote active ageing through the participation of older persons in community and sporting activities. 

This is part of the Madrid Plan of Action on ageing, which calls for governments throughout the world to take measures to address matters relating to the well being of older persons.

Dlamini also appealed to young people attending the gathering to work within community structures to help older persons in their respective communities.

"Young people in our country have a lot to learn from our senior citizens. It is for this reason that we are promoting intergenerational solidarity programmes between young and older persons in our communities," she said. 

The minister also urged the future generation to be vigilant and resist the temptation to experiment with alcohol and drugs. - BuaNews