Today (27 November 2016), Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, continued his older persons oversight visits campaign, and joined just over 300 elderly residents at a Christmas Party in Mitchells Plain.
The visit forms part of the Ministers ongoing campaign to raise awareness around the neglect and abuse the elderly experience around the festive season.
Minister Fritz joined Joseph Pillay (Chairperson) and his wife, Carol Pillay, who head up the Joseph & Carol Pillay Seniors Project, and were the generous sponsors of the event.
The Joseph & Carol Pillay Seniors Project was established in 2006, and is celebrating its 10 year anniversary of philanthropy and service to the Cape Flats older persons community.
In his address to the elderly, Minister Fritz condemned all forms of neglect and abuse of older persons. One of the most common forms of abuse older persons endure is being targeted by criminals, or even financial exploitation by relatives. “The elderly are seen as soft-targets, and are targeted by crooks and sadly even family members, because they know you can’t physically fight back”, said Fritz.
Minister Fritz pledged the Department’s assistance to all older persons who report any form of abuse. Through the Older Persons Programme, the Department of Social Development (DSD) has set aside R198-million to fight against all forms of abuse.
The Department funds a dedicated network of 450 NGOs specializing in services to older persons.
“Nobody should spend this special time of the year alone”, said MEC Fritz, who added that, “as we head into the festive season, I encourage families with older persons in residential facilities to visit more often, or even take them in for the holiday period”.
Minister Fritz cautioned the elderly to be vigilant when they access their pensions and social grants, and to report any abuse to the department by visiting any DSD local office or contacting the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.
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 : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za