International Day of Older Persons: tougher stance to be taken on abusers | Western Cape Government

22Covid-19 Alerts

COVID-19 Vaccine Information and Dashboard

View Vaccine information

TB Information and Dashboard

View TB information


International Day of Older Persons: tougher stance to be taken on abusers

1 October 2015

With today marking International Day of Older Persons, the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, will pay an oversight visit to 75 older persons at the Vredendal Tehuis (Old Age Home).

The Department of Social Development (DSD) is proud to be playing a leading role implementing integrated services for the care, support and protection of older persons.

Key to our efforts is adopting a whole-of-society approach, which involves building partnerships with the private sector, NGOs, and individuals in our communities.

DSD through the Older Persons Programme, and in line with the Older Persons Act, will continue the campaign to register all residential facilities, whether state funded or private. The Department has a database of facilities which can be accessed on our website.

Currently, 86 of the 119 funded facilities in the province are fully compliant and registered. The remainder are in the process of achieving full compliance. Registration enables us to monitor the treatment and care of all older persons and to protect their rights and dignity at all times.

The Older Persons Act prescribes three types of residential facilities;

  1. Independent living,
  2. Assisted living,
  3. And, frail care facilities.

The department has over the past five years increased our funding to NGOs rendering support services, residential and assisted living facilities to the elderly, from R70.6 million in 2011 to just over R194 million assisting them this financial year. This increase has benefitted poorer communities.

The department funds a total of 361 organizations which provide key services to older persons, with a special focus on promoting a developmental approach to ageing which also seeks to keep older persons in their families and communities for as long as possible.

The Western Cape has just over 520 000 people aged 60 years and older, and the department places great emphasis on empowering older persons, and not treating them as one homogenous grouping.

As such, in terms of an older person’s social and health assessment there are 3 categories once a person turns 60;

Above 60 years



Independent Living

Mobile and sound health


Assisted living

Need some assistance


Frail (mental or physical)




Some older persons live on their own, others with family or friends and some move into a residential facility (Old Age Home). Once they become frail and vulnerable and/or develop dementia, or have a stroke, or any other debilitating disease, they require 24 hour care.

As part of our ongoing efforts to curb the abuse of older persons and root out unscrupulous operators of residential facilities, the Department is at an advanced stage of establishing an Inspectorate which will tackle issues affecting older persons, and other vulnerable segments of our society.

However the success of our interventions depends on continued partnerships with communities and citizens. Most importantly, we need every individual to take responsibility for promoting the safety and well-being of the elderly in their communities.

Media Enquiries: 

Sihle Ngobese

Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development

Western Cape Government

7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000

Tel : (021) 483 9217

Cell :  076 083 6543

Email :